East Midlands Freeport
As the UK’s only inland Freeport, home to East Midland’s Airport – the UK’s busiest ‘pure’ cargo airport – East Midlands Freeport offers unrivalled connectivity across the UK and internationally.
The Freeport is ideally placed to capitalise on the region’s unique commercial and industrial strengths. It offers access to a wide range of innovative sectors, including advanced manufacturing, automotive and advanced logistics, and space and satellites.
East Midlands Freeport offers a range of incentives relating to customs, tax, planning, infrastructure and innovation. See further details on Freeport benefits.
Tax benefits are available at the Freeport’s 3 tax sites, located at:
- East Midlands Airport and Gateway Cluster (EMAGIC), the UK’s largest freight airport and largest ‘pure’ air cargo operation
- East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP), driving the next generation of rail connected business parks
- The Ratcliffe-on-Soar, offering high- capacity utilities infrastructure
Food and drink, Hydrogen, Biopharmaceuticals, Greener buildings, Zero emission vehicles, Sustainable infrastructure
Electric battery manufacturing in the Midlands could be worth up to £916 million gross value added (GVA), reflecting a £24 billion electrification opportunity for the UK. The Midlands will also see growth in other key sectors, with £2 billion GVA in automotive opportunities, almost £500 million in aerospace and £878 million in rail sectors by 2030.
Hydrogen also presents a significant opportunity, with hydrogen heat pumps and boilers being developed by Bosch, as well as hydrogen-powered vehicles being used for logistics in the region. £1.6 billion GVA could be added by alternative fuels such as hydrogen by 2030, creating 7,000 jobs.
The impact of advanced metals and materials could be worth an estimated £2.6 billion GVA to the Midlands by 2030. 25,000 additional jobs could be created in the metals sector, contributing £1.3 billion GVA.
The Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station site redevelopment is creating a zero-carbon technology and energy hub for the East Midlands, helping to meet the region’s decarbonisation goals. The site is a 273-hectare redevelopment opportunity with the majority of this located within the Freeport tax site boundary. Focused on low-carbon energy and advanced manufacturing, this site offers significant long-term, bespoke investment opportunities.
East Midlands Airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster (EMAGIC) is home to the East Midlands Airport, the UK’s largest freight airport handling 350,000 tonnes of cargo per year. EMAGIC includes plots on SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway, including access to a 50-acre Strategic Rail Freight Interchange and freight terminal capable of handling up to 16 775-metre freight trains per day. EMAGIC, with its unrivalled connectivity, is focussed on further developing the nation-leading advanced logistics market in the East Midlands.
East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP), located adjacent to the nationally significant Toyota manufacturing plant, has the potential to become part of the next generation of rail connected business parks. The proposed investment will enable a significant modal shift from road to rail freight, reducing carbon emissions for businesses within the region and increasing connectivity. EMIP offers 5.2 million square feet of state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution space and is capable of the production, storage and use of hydrogen.
The region offers a supportive ecosystem, with leading higher and further education institutions targeting innovation for hydrogen and low-carbon energy generation.
East Midlands Freeport offers multimodal transport connections covering road, rail and air.
East Midlands Airport, the UK’s largest freight airport is located within the Freeport zone. The airport provides one-stop access to 185 cities internationally, including connectivity to over 70% of the world’s most globally significant cities.
91% of the UK’s population are within a 4-hour drive, enabling road logistics with same day return, supported by innovation in the low-carbon fuel sector.
Superb rail access to all UK ports is also available from both the EMAGIC and EMIP sites.
Local talent and skills
There are more than 34,900 STEM students and 10,500 graduates in the East Midlands.
Currently 151,000+ people work in STEM roles and 246,000+ in skilled trades in the East Midlands.
The East Midlands is home to a number of UK-leading universities, including the University of Nottingham, University of Loughborough, University of Derby, University of Leicester, De Montfort University and Nottingham Trent University – creating a hotbed of talent and skills.
The Midlands is at the forefront of technologies such as industrial digitisation, life sciences and alternative fuels. It's home to world-class assets and centres of innovative excellence. The region is ideally placed for the distribution of manufactured goods, reaching 92% of the UK population within 4 hours. Birmingham is at the heart of one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects, HS2, and hosted the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
National government support
As specially designed areas with beneficial economic regulations, Freeports can help you achieve sustained growth, and may be able to save you time and money through:
- Stamp Duty Land Tax relief
- enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in plant & machinery and structures & buildings
- five years of Business Rates relief
- employer National Insurance contributions relief
Customs and Planning
- simplified customs procedure
- deferrals and exemptions from duty payments
- VAT suspension within customs sites
- supportive local planning environments with constructive public-private partnerships
- extensive public investment in skills and infrastructure
- access to the Freeport Regulation Engagement Network (FREN), enabling direct and early engagement between businesses, Freeports, and regulators
- access to the Freeport Innovation Network (FIN), a collaboration vehicle for Freeports to shape and organise their innovation activity as a collective
The East Midlands Freeport has already had a material impact on investment trajectory and the region. In particular:
- Maritime has progressed a significant expansion to its Strategic Rail Terminal. Located within the EMAGIC tax site and adjacent to the East Midlands Airport, it has confirmed plans to expand freight capacity, develop leading edge crane infrastructure and relocate the firm’s headquarters to the site.
- East Midlands Freeport has spearheaded the development of the Hydrogen Skills Academy, a public-private sector collaboration. They work with businesses as well as further and higher educational institutions to provide the skills needed to support the hydrogen economy in the region.
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