Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcements in the Budget, Tim Morris, Chief Executive of the UK Major Ports Group, said “We very much welcome today’s announcement by the Chancellor of eight locations for next generation freeports in England. It’s good to see ambitious and exciting bids all around the coast of the UK recognised. The UK Major Ports Group will be establishing a Freeports Industry Users Group to take forward key aspects of implementation. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Governments in Westminster and the Devolved Administrations to make freeports a reality.”
“However, freeports alone are not a silver bullet for addressing deprivation in coastal communities. The Government should look at extending some of the low cost, pro-investment measures in the freeports ‘tool box’ to port areas more widely.”
“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of a pro-investment ‘Super Deduction’. Unlocking more private sector investment will be key to a successful long term COVID-19 recovery. Major ports already invest more than £600 million each year of their own money in critical UK infrastructure and they’ll be looking into the detail of the Super Deduction to see how this investment level can be increased still further.”
“We are very disappointed that ports will see steep increases in the fuel duties they are subject to. Ports are already working hard on slashing emissions. Hiking fuel duties for sectors with few current alternatives doesn’t help the environment and damages the sectors ability to invest for the future, including in new green technologies.”
Notes to Editors: About the UK Major Ports Group
The UK Major Ports Group is the trade body for the UK’s major port operators. It represents nine of the top ten port operators in UK. Our members collectively handle 75% of the UK’s port volumes through 40 ports. These include the largest ports in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. UKMPG members together already invest around £500 million per year in the UK’s ports and related infrastructure.
Current UKMPG members are Associated British Ports, Belfast Harbour Commissioners, The Bristol Port Company, DP World , Forth Ports, Hutchison Ports UK, PD Ports, Peel Ports and the Port of London Authority.
For more information please see http://ukmajorports.org.uk/.