NEPIC has welcomed Government’s announcement that Teesside has been selected as one of eight Freeport locations across England, paving the way for the long term success of new and existing industries in the region.
The announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, during the Budget 2021, will see the Tees Valley become home to the biggest Freeport in the UK that covers 4,500 acres and is anticipated to create 18,000 highly skilled jobs and provide a £3.2 billion boost to the local economy.
Teesside’s Freeport bid covers sites across the region including Teesworks, Wilton International, Teesside International Airport, the Port of Middlesbrough, the Port of Hartlepool, Liberty Steel, LV Shipping and PD Ports ensuring maximum benefit for existing businesses and inward investors.
Areas given Freeport status will benefit from a wide package of tax reliefs, simplified customs procedures, streamlined planning processes to boost redevelopment and government support to promote regeneration and innovation.
NEPIC also welcomes Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcement for a new tax “super-deduction” policy to support investment and boost recovery post pandemic. Under this measure, investments in main-rate assets will be relieved by a 130% super-deduction, whilst investments in assets qualifying for special rate relief will benefit from a 50% first-year allowance. The new form of relief will come into effect from next month and last until the end of March 2023.
NEPIC Chief Executive Officer, Philip Aldridge said:
“NEPIC very much welcomes the news that Teesside will be awarded Freeport status. First and foremost, I would like to thank our members for the time and effort they put in during the freeport consultation period that resulted in a large part of the Wilton International chemical park being included within the freeport bid.
“The Wilton International site is already a great place for new and existing chemical processing companies to invest, however, tax zone status within a freeport will enhance its attractiveness to investors. In addition, we believe the freeport designation will put Teesside’s chemical processing sector ‘on the map’ and support global marketing.
“We also welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of a 130% super-deduction in capital allowance for qualifying plant and machinery investments over the next two years. This will further support our sector to invest and grow in the region.”
“Our attention now moves to ensuring Teesside’s chemical processing industries becomes one of the first industrial clusters to decarbonise by responding to a government consultation on UK decarbonisation ‘sequencing’.
“Decarbonisation will further advance the global attractiveness of Teesside to major chemical process sector investors. We will work with our members, and the Tees Valley Combined Authority, to attract new supply chains and technologies to the Wilton International site, adding to the recent investment announcements in plastic recycling and energy projects.”
The chemical processing sector is the industry of industries and sits at the head of many supply chains within manufacturing. Teesside is home to the largest single cluster of process, chemical and energy companies anywhere in the UK, and the second largest in the whole of Europe.
The sector is worth an estimated £800 million (GVA) to the UK economy and employs 7,500 people locally, along with tens of thousands more through the local supply chain. Teesside’s downstream chemical-using industries – including healthcare, electronics, automotive and textiles – rely on the continued success of this vital sector.