HE creation of a Thames Freeport could spark an explosion in growth and create 20,000 jobs in the region.
International port operator DP World and Forth Ports are bidding for a Thames Freeport with London Gateway, with the Thurrock-based Port of Tilbury and Ford’s Dagenham engine plant at its heart.
Freeports, championed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are zones designated by the government as areas with little to no tax in order to encourage economic activity giving them a huge advantage in terms of regeneration and job creation.
The Thames Freeport will have direct shipping routes to every continent for exporters to get their goods to market quickly.
The freeport zone has almost 1,000 acres of land ready for development in some of the most deprived areas in Thurrock, Barking and Dagenham.
If it gets a Government green light the Freeport is set to create more than 20,000 new, better paid jobs and many more through local supply chains, while securing more than £400 million in port infrastructure, which is expected to lead to a doubling of port capacity.
London Gateway recently secured almost £6million Port Infrastructure Funding along with Southend Airport which received £2.1million to help grow its freight operation.
A Thames Freeport spokesman said: “Our proposal will reconnect Britain’s biggest market with its industrial engine. A Thames Freeport will be a magnet for new investment, jobs, skills development and the adoption of greener technology.
“This will drive innovation and transformational productivity gains by turbocharging regional clusters in next generation logistics, automation, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing centred around two global hubs – London Gateway and Tilbury – supporting regeneration in Thurrock and economic growth across the Thames Estuary . . . .
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