Teesside Freeport - expected to be worth billions to region's economy - officially launched
An event to officially launch a new Teesside Freeport which includes sites in Hartlepool has been held.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen officially launched the freeport which is expected to create 18,000 jobs over the next five years and generate billions of pounds for the region’s economy.
Mayor Houchen revealed the logo and branding at the event on Thursday, October 28, after Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave the Teesside Freeport the final green-light in the budget.
It is due to begin operating from early November and will be the biggest freeport in the UK with sites across the region including the Port of Hartlepool run by PD Ports, and Liberty Steel on Brenda Road.
MP for the town Jill Mortimer said: “The Teesside Freeport will be not only the UK’s largest Freeport – but also the UK’s first post-Brexit Freeport.
"This is yet another example of how this Government is delivering on its commitments to level up the North East and build back better.”
Freeports offer a mix of tax reliefs, simplified customs procedures, and streamlined planning processes to encourage businesses that import, process and then re-export goods.
In a letter to Mrs Mortimer, Neil O’Brien MP of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “This exciting milestone represents an important next step on the journey and signals confidence to investors and businesses, including those in your constituency, to seize on opportunities presented by Freeports.”
Mayor Houchen said: “After years of campaigning for freeports to be introduced into the UK, and for Teesside to be the first post-Brexit, I’m delighted that today we have made that ambition a reality.
"Of course, this is only the beginning of the game-changing freeport, set to create thousands upon thousands of good-quality, well-paid jobs that local people are crying out for while driving growth and investment, ultimately putting more money in people’s pockets.
“It will have sites in every corner of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool including Wilton Engineering.
“By spreading the benefits, it will ensure each and every community will feel the impact from the jobs the freeport will create, the investment it will drive and the regeneration it will enable.”