Scotland announces two green freeport locations!
Nearly a year after it was announced that Scotland will get two freeports, the locations have been revealed. The winning bids for Scotland’s green freeports are Inverness and Cromarty Firth, and Forth.
But what do these two locations mean for trade in Scotland, how are green freeports different to England’s freeports, and what will the main purpose of these sites be? Find out in this article.
What are green freeports?
Green freeports in Scotland are similar to the freeport model that England uses, meaning that businesses within the free economic zone can benefit from:
– Lower duty and VAT rates for certain commodities and customs processes.
– Lower employment taxes.
– Less red tape for customs.
The difference with green freeports is with the conditions that participating businesses must meet in order for them to benefit from the free economic zone. In addition to being within the area and working with innovation within targetted industries, they must also meet employee welfare and net-zero procedural requirements. This means paying the living wage, instead of the minimum, and having a plan to reduce emissions and grow sustainably.
The sustainable theme is at the core of Scotland’s green freeports, with both sites working towards net-zero technologies.
About Scotland’s green freeports
Inverness and Cromarty Firth is located in the centre of northern Scotland, connecting with Edinburgh via the A9 road and Fort William via the A82. This location has been key for the North Sea oil and gas industry for approximately 50 years, and now provides crucial support for Scotland’s offshore wind sector.
The main target for the northerly Scotland green freeport is innovation and mass-production in the green hydrogen industry. Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy, in this case wind.
The Forth green freeport is located in the Dundee and Edinburgh area, providing access to mid- and southern Scotland via the East coast. This area is responsible for approximately 40% of Scotland’s industrial emissions, so one of the main targets for this site is to reduce them to net-zero. As with the Inverness and Cromarty Firth freeport, there is a big focus on green hydrogen at the Forth green freeport area.
The Forth freeport will be heavily invested into so that local infrastructure and businesses can drive sustainable innovation, creating more than 50,000 green jobs and an alternative fuel hub for Scotland’s transport sector. The projected investment and develop value is estimated to be £6 billion.
Additionally, start-up businesses and SMEs in the Forth green freeport area will have grant and skill-development support from a dedicated fund. This aims to encourage companies of all sizes and histories to innovate so that Scotland and the UK can advance faster.