Stena Line and Anglesey County Council New Freeport Status

Stena Line and Anglesey County Council New Freeport Status

Stena Line and Isle of Anglesey County Council agree to free port status

Published 25 March 2023 09:36 by The Maritime Executive

Stena Line and Isle of Anglesey County Council were delighted to receive the news today that their joint bid to establish a Freeport in Holyhead has been successful. The Freeport status was granted by the British and Welsh governments, which means a significant economic boost for North Wales.

Anglesey will now benefit from Freeport status where simplified customs and trade rules will apply, providing greater incentives for investment and trade. In future, goods entering Anglesey Freeport will not be subject to the UK’s normal tax and customs regime, supporting long-term business investment and boosting the prosperity of Anglesey and North Wales.

The full potential of North Wales will be unleashed following today’s announcement. Research suggests that Anglesey Freeport could: create up to 13,000 high-skilled, high-paying jobs for local people over 15 years; increase UK GDP by £1 billion by 2030, stimulated by business investment in R&D, serving the supply chain of new green technologies; increases manufacturing output across North Wales, while working in partnership with world-class educational institutions and supporting the upgrading of communities across North Wales.

The announcement marks the start of the process to revive the GB land bridge, which has suffered a 20% reduction in trade since Brexit. The Freeport will reduce the need for carriers to transport goods around the southern tip of the UK, a process that is both environmentally damaging and economically inefficient.

The Freeport will accelerate the use of sustainable energy production by building on existing industry-leading net-zero initiatives on the island’s coastline. This will strengthen the County Council’s existing ‘Energy Island Programme’ and produce much needed energy supplies for the rest of the UK. Net zero goals will be achieved by the largest permitted tidal energy project in the world.

Ian Hampton, Executive Director at Stena Line said:

“We would like to thank the Welsh and UK Governments for granting us free port status. We are delighted with this decision, which is testament to the strength and transformative potential of our bid. This is a significant achievement for the region, and this is an excellent opportunity to drive sustainable economic growth, green energy, jobs and skills. We are delighted for the people of Anglesey and North Wales and excited about the positive commercial prospects that can be turned into reality.

“Work now begins to ensure we capitalize on the unique tax and customs arrangements gained through free port status, to transform Anglesey into a center of global trade excellence. To realize its potential as a world-leading economic powerhouse by facilitating trade across Wales, the rest of the UK and internationally – enhanced by the facilitation of trade between the island of Ireland and the rest of the EU, via a revitalized GB- land bridge

“Today presents an enormous economic opportunity and we look forward to working with the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure the project delivers for local businesses and communities across North Wales.”

Dylan J. Williams, chief executive at the Isle of Anglesey, said: “I am delighted with today’s decision, which is a historic moment for Ynys Môn. Securing Freepost status could bring real transformational change to communities here and across North Wales. This will stimulate significant long-term job creation for local people as well as wider socio-economic benefits and supply chain developments. This will help to keep our young people in their local communities, and preserve our island’s unique character, culture and the Welsh language.”

“Freeport status will also provide a significant boost to the County Council’s Energy Island program – which aims to see the island become a hub for low-carbon energy research and development, innovation production and service – and supports the Council’s ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2030. Today’s decision means we are better placed than ever to realize this vision.”

The Anglesey Freeport will stretch 45km from Holyhead Harbor and cover the entire island of Anglesey, with four zones designated as tax or customs sites. The proposed sites are Holyhead Port (including a 213-acre former Anglesey Aluminum site and deep-water pier), Parc Cybi, Rhosgoch and M-Sparc Science Parc.

Ian Hampton added: “We would also like to congratulate Celtic Freeport on their joint successful bid in what is an exciting moment for South Wales as well. These two projects will complement each other to bring greater prosperity to the whole of Wales. We look forward to working with all partners to ensure that communities across Wales benefit from this decision.”

The products and services described herein in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.

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