East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Freeport

The East Midlands Freeport is the UK’s only inland Freeport, with unparalleled connectivity across the country, to international cities, and home to a wide range of innovative sectors.

As the UK’s only inland Freeport and home to East Midlands Airport - the UK’s busiest ‘pure’ cargo airport – East Midlands Freeport (EMF) is uniquely placed to capitalise and innovate on the region’s unrivalled commercial and industrial strengths.

These include:

  • advanced manufacturing, automotive and advanced logistics, space and satellites
  • multimodal transport connections - covering road, rail and air
  • once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure
  • leading higher and further education institutions targeting innovation for hydrogen and low-carbon energy generation
East Midlands Freeport

Investment type:



Food and drink, Hydrogen, Biopharmaceuticals, Greener buildings, Zero emission vehicles, Sustainable infrastructure

Growth prospects

Electric battery manufacturing could be worth up to £916 million gross value added (GVA) in the Midlands, 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.

The Midlands has a £22.9 billion share of the food exports market, but this can grow as only 1 in 5 food producers export their goods globally. The Midlands food and drink industry is expected to be worth £2.1 billion GVA by 2030.

The impact of medical and pharmaceuticals could be worth an estimated £1.5 billion GVA and create 8,000 jobs by 2030.

Hydrogen is a significant opportunity with hydrogen heat pumps and boilers being developed by Bosch, as well as hydrogen vehicles and hydrogen generation taking place in the region. £1.6 billion GVA could be added by alternative fuels like 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, operated by Maritime. This site is capable of handling up to 16 775m-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 the next generation of rail connected business parks. The proposed investment will also 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.


East Midlands Airport, the UK’s largest freight airport is located within the Freeport zone Providing one-stop access to 185 cities around the world, including connectivity to over 70% of the world’s most globally significant cities.

Reach 91% of the UK’s population within a 4-hour drive. A location where road logistics can make a return journey in the same day, supported by innovation in the low-carbon fuel sector.

Multimodal connectivity with superb rail access to all UK ports, 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.

Region Spotlight


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.

View all investment opportunities in Midlands

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
  • 5 years of business rates relief
  • employer National Insurance contributions relief
  • deferrals and exemptions from duty
  • supportive local planning environments with constructive public-private partnerships

Success stories

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 and further and higher educational parties to provide the skills needed to support they hydrogen economy in the region.

Speak to us

The government is identifying new projects across the whole of the UK. Investors who are interested in our projects can find out more by contacting us.

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