Business networks back Forth Green Freeport bid

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Chambers of commerce from three different areas – representing almost 1500 international and Scottish businesses – have given their backing to the bid for a proposed Forth Green Freeport.

Fife Chamber of Commerce, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce have officially gone on the record their support for the bid for the freeport, which includes Rosyth and Burntisland.

In joint letters sent to the UK and Scottish governments, the leaders of the three chambers described the bid as Scotland’s best opportunity to deliver a just transition to net zero, attract £6 billion of inward investment and build significant international trade and export capability.

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The Forth Green Freeport bid proposes specific tax and customs sites within Falkirk, Edinburgh, Fife and Leith.

The ambitious proposal for Forth Green FreeportThe ambitious proposal for Forth Green Freeport
The ambitious proposal for Forth Green Freeport

Led by Forth Ports, the bid consortium comprises both private and public organisations including Babcock, Edinburgh Airport, INEOS, Scarborough Muir Group, Falkirk Council, Fife Council and The City of Edinburgh Council.

The three chambers of commerce highlighted the “truly transformative” bid’s vision to create 50,000 high quality, green jobs in areas of local deprivation and 100 hectares of SME-dedicated development land to support new research and development capabilities and green incubator space to drive Scottish start-up business growth.

Alan Mitchell, chief executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce said: “By 2030, the ScotWind revolution has the potential to create up to £30 billion in additional investment and revenue from the North Sea.

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"The Forth Green Freeport will dramatically drive up UK produced manufactured content by enhancing strategic sites along the Forth Estuary to ensure that the skills base and innovation assets anchor as many as possible of the 25,000 new offshore wind jobs locally.

"The green skills initiatives are a key component in the delivery cycle and will support SMEs to grow their role in complex supply chains and attract new people to tomorrow’s green growth industries.”

Lynn Blaikie, president of Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Forth Green Freeport is different from other bidders in terms of scale, added value and community engagement.

"For instance, the new technology-backed skills development centres will address areas of acute deprivation within our communities by extending opportunities in a form that young adults can relate to. This is vital to realise the green energy, logistics and fuels vision for Grangemouth.”

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Liz McAreavey, chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, added: “The business community is already responding to the package of tax and customs incentives, with a spike in enquiries about how established companies and start-ups can use them, which is great for green growth, innovation and trade.”

The bid was submitted to the UK and Scottish governments for assessment on 20 June 2022 and seeks to re-industrialise Scotland, create large scale economic development, boost local supply chain growth and skills development and create a world-class manufacturing cluster.

It also has been said to have the potential to act as a catalyst for new green technologies and renewable energy manufacturing.

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