Plans for Humber Freeport 'well ahead' of others with significant interest from businesses looking to move there

An East Riding councillor has given an update on progress with the Humber Freeport plans - which are well ahead of expectations.

The Humber

The zone - which was one of eight new freeports around the country announced in this spring's Budget - will cover a 45km area including the existing docks at Hull, Grimsby, Immingham and Goole. It is hoped that it could eventually attract 7,000 jobs.

Freeports are special economic zones which have different regulations on taxes and tariffs to encourage investment and business expansion.

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Speaking at an East Riding Council meeting at Bridlington Spa this week, Coun Jonathan Owen said that initial responses to and work towards the establishment of the Freeport were positive and progressing well.

A steering group has been set up to create the company that will eventually run the port, and a recent ministerial visit generated government feedback that the Humber region was 'well ahead' of other areas in its preparation.

Coun Owen added that there had already been significant interest in the Freeport from potential business tenants despite the final details of the scheme having not yet been finalised. Although no contracts have been signed, he added that the parties would be newcomers to the region rather than existing local companies hoping to relocate for tax purposes. Interest from the latter is not encouraged.

It is hoped that the Freeport will be up and running by 2022.