New report from Avison Young says freeport status and the life sciences sector could be critical to Liverpool city region’s post-COVID-19 recovery
A new freeport could cover both sides of the River Mersey. Picture by Tony McDonough
A Liverpool city region freeport could be a key driver of the recovery of the local economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report claims.
And the study, carried out by property consultancy Avison Young also says Liverpool’s growing reputation as a centre for excellence for life sciences could also help accelerate growth in 2021 and beyond.
Avison Young’s 2021 Forecast Liverpool is part of a series of city reports, which explores the evolving realities of the UK commercial property landscape in the coming year. The report highlights key trends affecting Liverpool, informed by data-based insights.
Freeports are designated zones where normal tax and customs rules do not apply. These can be airports or other hubs as well as maritime ports. At a freeport, imports can enter with simplified customs documentation and without paying tariffs.
The Port of Liverpool had freeport status until 2012 when they were abolished by the coalition Government. The current Government is committed to creating at least 10 reports around the UK and has invited areas to bid. LBN understands the Liverpool city region will bid to create a freeport zone covering both sides of the River Mersey.
Locally, the idea has the support of Port of Liverpool owner, Peel Ports, as well as industry body Mersey Maritime. A report by consultancy Mace in 2019 estimated a freeport could add £739m to Liverpool city region’s economy every year – equivalent to £1,500 for every household – and would see the creation of 12,000 high-value jobs.
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