Freeport East Receives Final Government Approval

Suffolk ports celebrate major milestone
Freight Yard: two men in white hard hats

Freeport East has completed the strategy phase and been approved for delivery. Find out more about the location and benefits of Suffolk’s Freeport in this article.

What is a freeport?

A freeport is an area that benefits from suspended or preferential trading rules on certain commodities. This allows your goods to be imported for manufacturing without the need to pay full duty or VAT.

The benefits of this are twofold. Companies are able to protect their cashflow and competitiveness in the market by paying reduced taxes, and communities are able to level up because the companies must be physically located in the area to obtain the benefits.

Where is Freeport East?

Freeport East is a 45km area of east Suffolk which stretches from Woodbridge in the north to Jawick Sands in the south and the Gateway 14 development park (which is near Stowmarket) in the east. The area includes the ports of both Felixstowe and Harwich.

For the next 25 years, the freeport is able to collect and reinvest business rates from these three sites back into the community. The development of this project is expected to provide approximately 13,500 new jobs in the area, and is already backed by £25 million in government funding.

What are some of the initiatives in the area?

As the freeport includes Britain’s premier port, Felixstowe, it has the greatest access to international markets. Therefore, it has the greatest access to technology and components.

Ipswich, which is located 10 miles from Felixstowe, has been selected for the development of IT and digital services as part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy (NSES).

This initiative will support the hydrogen gas technologies in development at the Bacton Gas Terminal in Norfolk, which aims to support net-zero and clean energy supply in the UK. In the agricultural sector, the NSES will continue to advance the application of 5G satellites, robotics, and the overall Internet of Things within the industry.

The Port of Harwich is looking to become a green energy hub for the UK, continuing the development of offshore wind farms to support net-zero goals.

Gateway 14 is not a port, but an industrial park that is near several major roads that connect the UK. The investment in and development of this 2.36 million-square-foot park is designed to increase trade throughout the country and globally.

Are there other freeports in the UK?

There are eight freeports in England, with more due to be announced for Scotland, Wales,, and Northern Ireland.

Alongside Freeport East, the other English sites are:

  • Teesside
  • East Midlands Airport
  • Humber
  • Liverpool City
  • Solent
  • Thames
  • Plymouth

Could you benefit from Freeport East?

Customs Support provide import and export customs services in Felixstowe and Harwich, as well as all other major UK and European ports. Additionally, our network of customs consultants are on hand to provide you with advice on using freeports in an efficient way. If you are considering the benefits of Freeport East for your business, contact us today.