Hull to explore free port status after Government announces plan

free port status
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Suwin

Hull’s economy could receive a boost under Government plans to create up to 10 free ports across the UK.

Sea ports and airports are being invited to apply for free port status, which will be issued after the UK leaves the EU.

The free ports would allow firms to import goods into the chosen cities and then export them outside normal tax and customs rules.

The plan “will unleash the potential in our proud historic ports, boosting and regenerating communities across the UK,” according to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak.

Councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, said: “We are keen to explore the potential benefits to Hull, particularly any opportunities to develop more quality jobs and build on Hull’s global reputation as a mercantile trading centre.

“Hull City Council will work with our partners to develop proposals that would ensure we continue to develop the city’s economic growth.

“We will look to free port status as a way to further enable the strategic regeneration in Hull while securing Hull’s position as the business capital of the Humber Energy Estuary.”

The region is “essential” to the success of the plans, according to the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

A spokesperson said: “The Humber LEP welcomes the Government’s consultation into free ports and we look forward to working with organisations across the region to develop our response in the coming weeks.

“The Humber Estuary is home to the UK’s largest ports complex and has the space to support further growth. As such, it is essential the region is considered as part of this proposal.

“As evidenced by the success of the Humber Enterprise Zone, giving an area special status can attract both investment and jobs and can bolster economic regeneration.”