Call for Port of Hartlepool to be included in Freeport plans - being sure to keep the name

Council chiefs have vowed to write to government ministers to call for Hartlepool to be included in any Freeport plans in the region.
Picture c/o Google StreetviewPicture c/o Google Streetview
Picture c/o Google Streetview

The Government is planning to create up to 10 free ports across the UK, which would allow businesses to import goods and then re-export them outside normal tax and customs rules.

A 10-week consultation has been launched ahead of a bidding process, with the aim of announcing the location of the new zones at the end of this year so they can be open for business in 2021.

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A question was put to council leader Coun Shane Moore at the recent full meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council asking if he would be taking part in the consultation and writing to government ministers on the topic.

The Independent Union representative said the council will respond to the consultation and also write to the government Chief Secretary of the Treasury stressing the importance of the Port of Hartlepool to the region.

He said: “The council is committed to engaging with the consultation which closes on the 20th April this year.

“Prior to submitting a response to the government the council will engage with local businesses, land owners and also with the Tees Valley Combined Authority to make sure their representations protect Hartlepool itself and the borough council’s interests.

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“Further to responding to the formal government consultation the council will write to make representations that the Port of Hartlepool is critical to the economic performance of Hartlepool and the wider Tees Valley region, therefore it should be granted Freeport status.”

Coun Moore added he has contacted the Tees Valley Combined Authority Mayor Ben Houchen to ensure the Port of Hartlepool is included in his work linked to creating a Freeport.

He said: “I can confirm on the announcement of the consultation of the Freeports I wrote to the Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen requesting all language he uses moving forward always include the Port of Hartlepool not just that of Tees.

“I personally will not sign off on anything that moves forward from the Tees Valley that does not include the Port of Hartlepool in any bid.”