The government has given formal approval to the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport which it is hoped will stimulate growth and create thousands of jobs by transforming how businesses can operate within the region.
As a result of the decision, the Freeport will receive up to £25m of grant seed funding and eligible businesses will now be able to join and take advantage of Freeport status. Firms moving into the site will benefit from a range of incentives, including tax reliefs, customs advantages, business rates retention, planning, regeneration and trade and investment support.
Approval of the Freeport will help accelerate the formation of advanced manufacturing clusters and build on the region’s status as a centre of excellence for marine, maritime, defence and manufacturing innovation and expertise. It will also harness and expand its work in nationally critical sectors including marine autonomy, maritime net zero, offshore renewable energy, maritime logistics and digital oceans.
The University of Plymouth will chair the Freeport Innovation Board and is driving the project’s innovation strategy. The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Judith Petts CBE, said, “The Plymouth and South Devon Freeport will create exciting opportunities here in the South West that can benefit the country as a whole.”