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East Midlands Chamber News

East Midlands freeport very exciting for region and builds on logistics strengths, says Chamber

Commenting on plans for the East Midlands freeport, which will create an estimated 25,000 direct jobs and boost the region’s economy by £84.bn over 25 years, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “We are very excited to see these plans for the freeport, which illustrate the huge benefits it will bring to the East Midlands economy and the confidence it will give to businesses as we return towards normality.

“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.

“For our workforce, it will provide much-needed new opportunities for high-skilled, well-paid and more productive jobs.

“We are particularly enticed by the prospect of a skills academy. In our latest Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 2021, 73% of East Midlands employers that attempted to recruit* said they struggled find suitable staff, so it’s becoming increasingly clear that upskilling will be a major plank of the post-Covid economic narrative.”