Closing of the tender process for green free ports

The bidding process to become one of Scotland’s two new green freeports has closed, with five bids received.

Those currently in the running are:

“Special Economic Zones” will offer tax incentives and reduced fares for areas around airports, seaports and rail terminals.

Commenting on the bidding process and next steps, Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “We expect green freeports to promote regeneration in selected areas, create high quality and improve our decarbonization plans in the just transition to a net zero economy.

“We will now jointly assess and decide on the winning bids, following the rigorous process set out in the agreed joint prospectus, in which each government has a say.

“Further details of the successful candidates will be defined in the coming months.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack added: “UK Freeports are a key part of the UK Government’s upgrading strategy – they will bring innovation, high quality jobs, prosperity and regeneration to the benefit of the whole of Scotland. “.

The Scottish Government and the UK Government previously published a joint prospectus setting out the criteria for applicants in full, with a detailed timetable.

Some of the main requirements that candidates must establish include the following:

  • How they will support high quality employment opportunities offering good wages and conditions; how they are going to create these new jobs; how they will encourage businesses to locate in the region; and how fair labor practices will be integrated into green freeports.
  • How they will contribute to a just transition to net zero emissions by 2045, including through a robust plan to facilitate decarbonization within the Green Freeport.

The two chosen freeport zones will benefit from a comprehensive support package, including:

  • Initial revenue support to establish governance structures and business plans.
  • Substantial seed capital for land assembly and infrastructure.
  • Reserved tax relief on capital, land and buildings.
  • National insurance reductions from the employer.
  • Customs easements.
  • Devolved tax relief for non-domestic rates and land and property transaction tax.
  • A local non-domestic rate retention program.

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