Green freeports: Forth announced as freeport sites in huge boost for Fife

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Politicians in Fife have welcomed the announcement that the Forth is one of two locations chosen as freeport sites.

The Scottish and UK Governments chose the Forth and Cromarty Forth after a “rigorous assessment and selection process.”

The two winning bids will be supported by up to £52 million in start-up funding and will benefit from tax reliefs and other incentives.

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The applicants had to demonstrate how they would contribute towards a just transition to net zero emissions by 2045 and create new, green jobs.

How the freeport at Rosyth could lookHow the freeport at Rosyth could look
How the freeport at Rosyth could look

The Forth Green Freeport consortium is a private and public partnership that includes: Forth Ports; Babcock; INEOS; Edinburgh Airport; Scarborough Muir Group; Falkirk Council; Fife Council; and The City of Edinburgh Council.

The bid’s strategically located tax and customs sites span 550 hectares in Grangemouth, Leith, Rosyth, Burntisland and Edinburgh Airport.

It will increase trade through Scotland’s sea and air gateways and support the growth of trading businesses across the Firth of Forth.

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Charles Hammond OBE, chief executive of Forth Ports and lead Forth Green Freeport bid partner, welcomed the announcement as “great news for Scotland, for new green jobs and for the country’s drive to net zero.”

He added: “Our bid will re-industrialise the nation and create large scale economic development. Our green freeport will accelerate investment and generate 50,000 new green jobs by acting as a catalyst for new technologies and renewable energy manufacturing.

“This has the potential to unlock £6 billion of private and public investment for Scotland and create new training facilities, factories, logistics parks, rail, freight and fuel terminals and to enhance our creative industries.

“The benefits of trade will be spread widely into the communities that need it the most, through the establishment of a green growth investment corridor creating tens of thousands of jobs in low carbon logistics, renewable energy, green manufacturing and alternative fuels

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“These new jobs will not just be in Grangemouth, Leith and Rosyth, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh; the Lothians, Stirling and Falkirk; Dunfermline and Burntisland; and across the UK.”

Councillor Altany Craik, spokesperson for finance, economy and strategic planning at Fife Counci,l said: "We welcome Government commitment to the Forth Green Freeport Designation and look forward to continuing close working with all including Forth Ports to deliver the jobs, investment and economic outcomes that can now be realised for Fife.

“The opportunity to reindustrialise the Forth sustainably and to harness the strategic employment and investment opportunities along our Fife Forth coast will enable all parts of Fife and in particular Mid Fife, to benefit economically. "

The decision means bids covering Aberdeen, Glasgow and the Clyde, and Orkney missed out.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Working together delivers results – and I am absolutely delighted that the First Minister and I can announce the delivery of our shared ambition for people in Scotland today with not one, but two excellent green freeport areas.

“In extending the benefits of freeports to Scotland, we are unleashing the potential of the Firth of Forth and Inverness and Cromarty Firth, backing the delivery of thousands of high-quality green jobs for future generations, as we continue to make gains on our commitments to transition to net zero.”