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01 Mar 2022

East Midlands freeport will be an important driver for growth in region’s economy, says Chamber after plans get formal approval

Commenting on confirmation that the East Midlands freeport has secured formal Government approval, East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “A year on from the exciting plans being unveiled for the East Midlands freeport, today’s confirmation is a huge moment for the region – which can now look forward to a huge economic boost in the decades ahead. Following the end of all Covid-19 restrictions in February, this is another big boost for business confidence.

“Our region already has fantastic national and international trading links – something highlighted during the pandemic – and freeport status means we can cement our role at the centre of Britain’s post-Brexit global trading relationship.

“We are in a unique position as the only inland freeport among the 10 designated zones, which is testament to East Midlands Airport’s reputation as the country’s most important mover of international freight and the catalyst for the explosive growth we’ve witnessed in our region’s logistics sector in recent years.

“This free trade zone, which will have a focus on innovation, low carbon and trade, signals the direction of travel for the East Midlands economy – giving investors something tangible to back in order to deliver the inward investment and jobs that will enable growth.

“We’ve already been notified about interest from companies both inside and outside our region that may want to locate themselves at the freeport in order to take advantage of tax breaks at sites including East Midlands Airport, so the green light should pave the way forward for more companies moving into our region.

“For our workforce, it will provide much-needed new opportunities for high-skilled, well-paid and more productive jobs – a key priority of this Government and an important driver of growth for the East Midlands economy.”