‘Unique way of doing business’ as first eight Freeports revealed

One of the Freeports will be established near East Midlands Airpoirt

The Government has named the first eight Freeport locations around the UK – areas where it will be possible to carry out trade under different customs rules.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his Budget on Wednesday afternoon that Freeports will be established in Thames (including London Gateway Port and the Port of Tilbury), Liverpool City Region, Solent, East Midlands, Freeport East (Felixstowe and Harwich), Humber and Teeside.

Sunak described the areas as “taking a unique approach” to doing business.

Businesses located in the freeport sites will benefit from: an enhanced 10% rate of Structures and Buildings Allowance for constructing or renovating non-residential structures and buildings; an enhanced capital allowance of 100% for companies investing in plant and machinery for use in Freeport tax sites in Great Britain, once designated; full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase of land or property within Freeport tax sites in England, once designated; and full Business Rates relief in Freeport tax sites in England, once designated.

Neil Berry, tax partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said: “It’ll be fascinating to see what gets wrapped around the Freeport at East Midlands Airport, as they will certainly make it easier for businesses to trade with each other, so we’ll wait to see who can really benefit from this move.”

Jay Boyce, partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, added: “The Chancellor has presented Freeports as an chance to grasp the opportunities that Brexit will bring. The reality will be found in the detail, but they certainly give businesses an opportunity to grow out of recession.”