Stena Line and Isle of Anglesey County Council were delighted to receive the news today that their joint bid to establish a Freeport in Holyhead has been successful. The Freeport status was granted by the UK and Welsh Governments, marking a significant economic boost to North Wales.
Anglesey will now benefit from Freeport status where simplified customs and trade rules will apply, providing greater incentives for investment and trade. In the future, goods entering Anglesey Freeport will not be subject to the UK’s usual tax and customs regime, supporting long-term business investment, and boosting the prosperity of Anglesey and North Wales.
The full potential of North Wales will be unleashed following today’s announcement. Research indicates that the Anglesey Freeport could: create up to 13,000 high-skilled, high-wage jobs for local people over 15 years; increase UK GDP by £1bn by 2030, stimulated by business investment in R&D, servicing the supply chain of new green technologies; increase manufacturing output across North Wales whilst working in partnership with world-class educational institutions and supporting the upskilling of communities across North Wales.
The announcement signals the beginning of the process to revitalize the GB land bridge, which has suffered a 20% reduction in trade since Brexit. The Freeport will reduce the need for haulers to transit goods around the southern tip of the UK, a process which is both environmentally damaging and economically inefficient.
The Freeport will accelerate the take up of sustainable energy production by building on existing industry-leading net-zero initiatives on the Island’s coastline. This will bolster the County Council’s existing ‘Energy Island Programme’ and produce much-needed energy supplies for the rest of the UK. Net zero goals will be achieved through the largest consented tidal energy project in the world.
Ian Hampton, Executive Director at Stena Line said:
“We would like to thank the Welsh and UK Governments for granting us freeport status. We are thrilled by this decision, which is a testament to the strength and transformative potential of our bid. This is a significant achievement for the region, and it is an excellent opportunity to drive forward sustainable economic growth, green energy, jobs, and skills. We are delighted for the people of Anglesey and North Wales and excited about the positive commercial prospects that can be turned into a reality.
“Work now begins to ensure that we are capitalizing on the unique tax and customs arrangements gained through freeport status, to transform Anglesey into a center for global trading excellence. To realize its potential as a world-leading economic powerhouse by facilitating trade across Wales, the rest of the UK, and internationally – bolstered by the easing of trade between the island of Ireland and the rest of the EU, via a revitalized GB land bridge.
“Today presents an enormous economic opportunity and we look forward to working with the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure the project delivers for local businesses and communities across North Wales.”
Dylan J. Williams, Chief Executive at the Isle of Anglesey, said: “I am delighted by today’s decision, which is a historic moment for Ynys Môn. Securing Freepost status can deliver real, transformational change to communities here and across North Wales. It will stimulate significant long-term job creation for local people as well as wider socio-economic benefits and supply chain developments. This will help keep our young people in their local communities, preserving our Island’s unique character, culture, and the Welsh language.”
“Freeport status will also provide significant impetus for the County Council’s Energy Island Programme – which aims to see the Island become a hub for low carbon energy research and development, innovation production and servicing – and support the Council’s ambitious target of achieving net zero by 2030. Today’s decision means we are better placed than ever to realize this vision.”
The Anglesey Freeport would extend 45km from Holyhead port, covering the whole Isle of Anglesey, with four zones designated as tax or customs sites. The proposed sites are Holyhead Port (including a 213-acre former Anglesey Aluminium site and deep water jetty), Parc Cybi, Rhosgoch, and M-Sparc Science Parc.
Ian Hampton added: “We would also like to congratulate the Celtic Freeport for their jointly successful bid in what is an exciting moment for South Wales too. These two projects will complement each other, in order to bring greater prosperity to the whole of Wales. We look forward to working alongside all partners to ensure that communities across Wales benefit from this decision.”
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