Teesside’s shipping industry has publicly acknowledged the importance of the region’s new Freeport status – both for the shipping sector and the wider region.
Following the announcement that Teesside has been identified as one of eight new Freeports in Eng-land, Gary Dawson, chair of the Tees and Hartlepool Port Users’ Association (THPUA), the region’s lobbying group for the shipping industry said: “This is a defining moment for Teesside, the government has unlocked a major opportunity and we now need to all work together to realise the potential that this can deliver for our industry and our region.”
The THPUA, which alongside local ports and shipping agencies, includes some of the biggest manufac-turers in the region, was heavily involved in supporting Mayor Houchen in shaping his winning bid.
Mr Dawson said: “We provided knowledge and expertise from within our membership to assist the Mayor and the local authorities in developing a compelling bid. This included specialist customs exper-tise from one of our members, Casper Shipping. We also engaged with the Mayor’s office and his team of economists to identify suitable sites for inclusion within the Freeport to ensure it delivered maxi-mum impact for the region.
“The strength of our membership has certainly been recognised in the final proposal – of the eleven sites included within the Freeport, eight are actually THPUA member organisations, those being Able Seaton Port, Liberty Steel Hartlepool, LV Shipping, PD Ports, Port of Hartlepool, Port of Middlesbrough, Teesworks and Wilton Engineering.
“I commend the Mayor and the local authorities for working closely with industry and listening to busi-nesses views to ensure the best bid was put forward. I also thank the statutory harbour authority, PD Ports for the support they have provided by engaging the services of MACE to analyse the Teesside landscape and help define the optimum Freeport boundary. . . .
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