In the March 2021 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Solent Freeport bid was one of eight shortlisted by the government. Eastleigh Borough Council supported the bid, to attract £1 billion investment and create 32,600 jobs – about half of the jobs in the local area.
The Government has now accepted the final business case submitted by the Solent Freeport Consortium Ltd which leads to the establishment of tax and customs sites.
What are Freeports?
Freeports are areas designated by the government where normal tax and customs rules are relaxed or do not apply.
Within the Freeport zone, businesses have to pay little or no tax on imported and exported goods – and there are often additional incentives to encourage economic activity. While located geographically within a country, they essentially exist outside its borders for tax and customs purposes.
What’s in it for Eastleigh?
- Being part of a Freeport will attract a lot of investment to Eastleigh. Analysis suggests it could act as a magnet for an estimated £1 billion of extra investment across the region.
- Eastleigh has been chosen to host one of the tax sites at Navigator Quarter (Airport and Railways works) and it will secure continued investment in our Tax site.
- It promises to create over 16,000 new jobs in the Solent area.
- It will support our innovative green industries, encouraging growth in the hydrogen economy, wind turbine manufacturing and ultra-low-sulphur diesel.
If you are a business and interested in the opportunities the Freeport will open up, please register with Solent Freeport.