Government approves tax site to unlock further investment in freeport

The Government has approved a freeport tax site in Goole, in a move intended to stimulate further investment within the Humber region.

The tax site, part of the wider Humber Freeport, spans almost 500 acres of prime development land across two plots, separated by the M62 motorway.

The proposed footprint for the Goole tax site was submitted for approval in August last year. Now the site has been officially designated, following review and approval by the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs.

It means businesses investing within the tax site can benefit from advantages, ranging from business rate and stamp duty land tax relief, to National Insurance support designed to reduce employment costs.

Humber Freeport chairman, Simon Bird, said: “Designation of the Goole tax site is another major positive step forwards for Humber Freeport and our mission to drive economic growth, generate thousands of skilled jobs, support innovation and promote cross-sector collaboration.

“We strongly believe our freeport proposition in the Humber is a compelling and unique one, with huge opportunities in decarbonisation, advanced manufacturing, chemicals and port-related operations.

“We’re offering investors the opportunity to benefit from the Humber’s status as a global gateway, with easy access to mainland Europe and beyond via the UK’s busiest ports complex.

“We’ve got the space to grow, the people, the skills and the world-class companies already here to support investors, making the Humber the perfect place to do business.”

Designation of the Goole tax site will support delivery of one of the region’s largest investments.

The tissue paper mill planned by Finnish manufacturer, Metsä Tissue

Property developer Wykeland Group holds the long-term development rights to the 211-acre northern part of the tax site and has exchanged on a deal with Finnish tissue paper manufacturer Metsä Tissue.

Subject to planning approval, Metsä Tissue will invest hundreds of millions of pounds to create the UK’s largest tissue paper mill on the site.

The facility is proposed to be built in several phases over the next few years. It will create more than 400 jobs, with thousands of additional indirect jobs generated across the supply chain and in the local economy.

Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Hull-based Wykeland, said: “Confirmation of freeport tax status for the Goole site is excellent news for Goole and the wider Humber.

“The freeport tax site benefits added to the attractiveness of the proposition for Metsä Tissue.

“They also underline the appeal of the wider Goole site, paving the way for further large-scale development delivering economic growth, new jobs and wide-ranging community benefits.”

The southern part of the Goole tax site is owned by St John’s College, Cambridge, which has appointed HBD, part of Henry Boot, as development partner.

Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing facility

Siemens Mobility is heavily involved in Goole’s rejuvenation, with an investment of up to £200m in a rail manufacturing facility, next to the freeport tax site, where tube trains for London’s Piccadilly line will be built.

The southern part of the Goole tax site has been billed as an opportunity to create an integrated supply chain alongside the Siemens Mobility rail centre of excellence and the neighbouring Guardian Glass factory.

Goole is one of three Humber Freeport tax sites, alongside Hull East and the Able Humber Port at Immingham.

Other companies which have revealed plans to invest on Humber Freeport sites include rare earth exploration company Pensana and green hydrogen specialist Meld Energy, both at Saltend Chemicals Park within the Hull East tax site.