Last reviewed 19 May 2022

Following previous reports of Freeports to be established in England and Scotland (see Confirming regulations and maps of Freeports published and Government invites bids for Green Freeports in Scotland), details have now been announced of a £26 million deal to create one in Wales.

The relevant correspondence between the two Governments is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/agreement-between-uk-and-welsh-governments-on-a-freeport-in-wales.

Freeports will be hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities by attracting new businesses, spreading jobs, investment and opportunity to towns and cities across the UK.

Bidders must show how they will create high-quality employment opportunities offering good salaries and conditions and meet the two Governments’ shared climate change commitments to reach net zero by 2050.

Officials from UK and Welsh Governments will jointly assess the bids in this latest selection process to ensure that the best possible sites come forward and that the one chosen delivers the maximum benefits to communities across Wales.

Secretary of State Michael Gove said: “I am delighted that Wales is the latest area in the UK set to benefit from a new Freeport. The UK Government’s ambitious Freeports agenda will help to level up our coastal communities and create new opportunities for people right across the country.”

He confirmed that that the Governments would be prepared to consider the case for a further additional Freeport in Wales, if a “truly exceptional” proposal were to be presented at the bidding stage.

Further information will be made available and engagement with interested parties will take place ahead of publication of the prospectus.

Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic and customs regulations apply. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/freeports for more details.