Welsh Freeport Locations Confirmed!
The announcement of the Welsh freeport locations completes the unveiling of the UK’s mainland free emission zones. But where are they, and what benefits will they bring? Find out in this article.
Where are Wales’ freeports?
The UK Government confirmed in March that there will be two freeports in Wales, bringing the current total of UK free emission zones to 12 alongside the two in Scotland and eight in England. The freeport initiative was announced in 2021 as a way to boost trade under the Levelling Up agenda.
Wales’ freeports are Anglesey Freeport in the north, and Celtic Freeport on the southern coast. Together, they are expected to generate over 29,000 green or high-skilled jobs, and drive technological advances in the renewable energy sector.
The Anglesey Freeport
The Anglesey Freeport is located in the north of Wales, covering the isle of Anglesey and the Port of Holyhead. Already dubbed “Energy Island” for it’s concentrated efforts in renewable technology and hydrogen energy, the freeport status is expected to accelerate innovation in this area.
Targets for the freeport include the creation of over 13,000 high-skilled, high wage jobs over the next 15 years through increased opportunities for manufacturing and research companies within the area.
This area of the north of Wales currently has one of the lowest GVAs per capita and there has been public concern for the limited opportunities available to young residents. To combat this, the Anglesey Freeport in Wales is pairing with higher education providers to create real career plans that will help local residents get the jobs within the free emission zone.
Chief Executive at the Isle of Anglesey Dylan J. Williams commented on the freeport bid’s success:
“I am delighted by today’s decision, which is a historic moment for Ynys Môn. Securing Freepost status can deliver real, transformational change to communities here and across North Wales.
It will stimulate significant long-term job creation for local people as well as wider socio-economic benefits and supply chain developments. This will help keep our young people in their local communities, preserving our Island’s unique character, culture and the Welsh language.”
The Celtic Freeport
The Celtic Freeport is located in the south of Wales, and is unique in that it covers two separate geographical areas. The first is Neath Port Talbot, and the second is Pembrokeshire. Carmarthenshire and Swansea lie between the two South Wales freeport areas, and are expected to benefit despite not receiving the same advantages as their neighbours on either side will.
Celtic Freeport is due to revive Welsh manufacturing, with the steel industry in Neath Port Talbot flagged as a particular focus. Additionally, the freeport will boost the production of offshore wind farms in Wales to provide cleaner energy for the area.
The initiative is estimated to attract over £5.5 billion in investment and create over 16,000 green jobs.
Leader of the Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Steve Hunt, commented on the Celtic Freeports bid approval:
“Today’s announcement is an absolute game changer for Neath Port Talbot and for Wales. It will transform the fortunes of people in all our communities. It puts us at the forefront of the world’s green energy revolution and our residents will soon be working in the industry of the future, learning the skills for securing green, well-paid jobs.”
Need help with customs in either of the Welsh Freeports?
Customs Support are here for you. With an office in Llanelli, our team are local to the Celtic Freeport and provide customs clearance across Wales. Our customs consultants are supported by declarants and other experts across the UK and EU, providing businesses like yours with the help they need to navigate the ever-changing landscape of customs throughout Europe.
If you are looking to trade within the Welsh Freeports, contact one of our experts today.