BUDGET 2021: New freeport sites confirmed

By Chris Ames | 03 March 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak closed his Budget speech today with a commitment to eight new freeport sites - international gateways that will enjoy a raft of tax breaks from later this year.

New freeports in England will be launched at East Midlands Airport, Liverpool, Felixstowe, Humber, Plymouth, Thames, Teesside and Solent.

Businesses on these sites will benefit from 'more generous tax reliefs, simplified customs procedures and wider government support, bringing investment, trade and jobs,' the Treasury said.

Discussions with the devolved administrations are ongoing to deliver similar deals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 'as soon as possible'.

In his Budget speech, Mr Sunak said the policy: 'Exemplifies the future economy, a policy on a scale we have never done before, to bring investment, trade and, most importantly, jobs across the country, to replace the industries of the past with green, innovative, fast-growing new businesses, to encourage free trade and our position as an outward-looking trading nation open to the world.' 

He added it was a policy 'we can only pursue now we are out of the European Union' though seven freeports were established in the UK between 1984 and 2012.

The tax benefits are expected to include an enhanced 10% rate of structures and buildings allowance for constructing or renovating non-residential structures and buildings, an enhanced capital allowance of 100% for firms investing in plant and machinery, full relief from stamp duty and full business rates relief.

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