Freeport East (Felixstowe and Harwich)
Freeport East is a world-leading centre for clean energy production, offering a unique set of opportunities and support for investors, traders, manufacturers and suppliers.
Freeport East encompasses Britain’s biggest container port and busiest railhead, 2 major ferry terminals, the UK’s leading telecommunications R&D facility and is part of the UK’s East Coast Green Energy cluster.
The Freeport also benefits from strengths in areas such as renewable energy and green fuels, agri-tech, logistics and quality of life.
Freeport East offers a range of incentives relating to customs, tax, planning, infrastructure and innovation. See further details on the benefits of Freeports.
Tax benefits are available at the Freeport’s 3 sites, located at:
- Port of Felixstowe, strategically located for value-add logistics and global trade opportunities
- Harwich International Port, focused on offshore wind, green energy and related technologies
- Gateway 14, a built-to-need park for R&D, manufacturing and logistics
Hydrogen, Offshore wind, Sustainable infrastructure, Technology, Clean agri-tech
Sector and market opportunity
Freeport East will propel the UK’s net zero decarbonisation efforts, particularly through its role as a green hydrogen hub. Use cases range from industrial supply for London and the South East through to shipping, freight, local transport and port operations.
Freeport East will also see the development of a 110-hectare site creating an offshore wind hub designed to support assembly, manufacturing and associated engineering solutions. This will further strengthen the location’s offering for green energy technologies and innovation.
Freeport East will drive breakthrough innovations across the UK’s technology and telecommunications sectors through collaboration with research institutions and major organisations. These include the University of Cambridge, Three, BT, the University of Essex (ranked number one in the UK for business-academia knowledge transfer partnerships) and various other innovation clusters.
Green energy sectors are forecast for significant growth in the coming years in the UK and EU. Freeport East offers direct access to these high growth markets and opportunities for high-value collaboration.
Forecasts suggest that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, and Freeport East aims to be at the heart of this UK energy transition. By 2030, 1 gigawatt (GW) of hydrogen could be produced from the green hydrogen hub - meeting 10% of the increased 10GW target set out in the UK government’s hydrogen strategy. The UK hydrogen economy is forecast to be worth £900 million by 2030, with the potential to reach £13 billion by 2050.
The development of an offshore wind hub will also accelerate progress toward the UK’s ambition to have secure, clean and affordable British energy for the long term. The offshore wind hub will support the UK’s commitment deliver up to 50GW of renewable energy, including up to 5GW of innovative floating wind by 2030. With the Netherlands now targeting 70GW of offshore wind, only 140km away, and other EU countries similarly ramping up production, growth opportunities are significant.
The new £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear plant is planned to commence construction in 2024, delivering multi-billion contract opportunities into local supply chains in the Freeport East area.
The 32-hectare tax site at Freeport East Felixstowe is strategically located on the UK’s East Coast, offering easy access to Northwest Europe’s major ports and a direct connection to the world’s major shipping lanes.
Freeport East Harwich is a fully consented 122 hectare project. It offers an ideal location for the development of an innovative green energy hub given its proximity to the offshore and floating wind farms of the North Sea. The existing infrastructure and expertise from the ports make Freeport East Harwich well-equipped to build the UK’s reputation as a leader in renewables.
Gateway 14 is poised to be the largest logistics and business park in East Anglia at 156 acres. The landmark development is strategically located in a prime position along the main corridor to the UK’s midlands via the A14, perfectly situated for logistics and manufacturing.
Freeport East is strategically located between world-class innovation and finance clusters in London, Cambridge and Norwich, and some of the UK’s most strategic infrastructure assets.
Freeport East has easy access to major European shipping lanes and exceptional links to over 700 ports across the globe. With 3 rail terminals, the port also hosts the UK’s busiest and biggest intermodal rail freight facility - connecting Freeport East Felixstowe with 15 inland terminals across the UK.
Felixstowe is a centre for the greening of port operations, with current innovations in autonomous and hydrogen-powered vehicles as well as the electrification of major lifting equipment.
Freeport East Harwich is one of the UK’s leading multi-purpose freight and passenger ports with excellent road and rail access across the UK and ideally situated for North Sea freight and passenger traffic into Europe.
London Stansted Airport can be reached in under 60 minutes, while Southend and Norwich airports are 90 minutes away.
Local talent and skills
There are more than 67,500 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students, and over 18,000 STEM graduates in the East of England.
There are also over 315,000 people working in STEM related roles and over 515,000 working in skilled trades.
Thousands of people are already employed in green energy sectors, with 47% of the offshore wind operating fleet, 150 gas platforms, 2 gas fires power stations, Sizewell B & C, 145 solar projects, 32 bio energy projects and 975+ offshore wind turbines.
South of England
The region is home to 21 million people. It offers opportunities across a wide range of sectors from nuclear and aerospace, to life science and new technologies. There are vibrant clusters of expertise spanning 5G, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
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 Range is a leading home, garden and leisure products retailer with stores and operations across the UK. The Range announced a strategic investment of £200m into a logistics unit of 1.2 million square feet on the Freeport East Gateway 14 site. This will meet growing demand in the South and Southeast England and support wider operations across the UK. Gateway 14 offers a prime location for manufacturing and logistics with its position along the A14 providing easy access to Ipswich, Cambridge and up to the Midlands as well as to the Port of Felixstowe.
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