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East Midlands Freeport secures go-ahead to deliver new incentives for business growth

Posted 02 Mar 2022

The East Midlands Freeport has today (Tuesday) secured formal Government approval for its plans to offer businesses locating in the Freeport special incentives.

The UK’s only inland freeport is set to deliver over 61,000 jobs for the East Midlands and an extra £8.4bn for the local economy over the next 30 years. 

The greenlight means that from 22nd March 2022, eligible companies investing in designated areas within the Freeport’s boundary will be able to access a range of benefits offered through the Government’s Freeport policy.  These areas, known as ‘tax sites’, cover the Freeport’s three main locations at East Midlands Airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster (‘EMAGIC’), East Midlands Intermodal Park (‘EMIP’) and the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station Redevelopment Site.

The special incentives will be offered to companies whose development plans support the Freeport’s main objectives, including promoting growth in advanced manufacturing and logistics, and turbocharging the drive towards Net Zero.  By building on the Freeport’s other unique advantages as the nation’s only inland Freeport with unparalleled global transport links, these benefits will help attract and accelerate new high value, low carbon investment that promises to create thousands of skilled green jobs.

By creating much-needed jobs and boosting the economy, the Freeport is set to benefit communities across the East Midlands and make a critical contribution to the Government’s levelling-up agenda. It is one of eight Freeports being established across England.

Hailing a pivotal moment in the development of the Freeport, Penny Coates, Chair of the East Midlands Freeport Board, said: “The Government’s approval for our tax sites means that the East Midlands Freeport now offers a total of 533ha of prime, strategic development land where companies can not only benefit from a fantastic location with fantastic global transport links; they can also benefit from a comprehensive package of special incentives that make our Freeport one of the best places to invest in the UK.  That’s why today’s announcement is the moment when we can really start to turn our ambitions for the Freeport into reality, delivering well-paid green jobs for communities, supporting levelling-up and helping achieve a Net Zero economy.”

Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “Freeports are a key element of levelling up the UK and I’m delighted to have reached this major milestone. This is a big moment for the East Midlands. As the UK’s only inland freeport, the innovative plans will power up the region’s economy, create much-needed jobs and put the East Midlands firmly on the map. We can now get to work on starting to deliver its promise.”

Clare James, East Midlands Airport’s Managing Director, said: “We look forward to continuing our work with public and private sector partners to make a success of the UK’s only inland Freeport, and to playing our role in the future prosperity of the East Midlands. By building on the strengths of the region’s leading sectors including advanced manufacturing, logistics and R&D, the Freeport is well-placed to drive future investment and economic growth which will create new and diverse jobs for local people.”

Andrew Pilsworth, Managing Director, National Logistics, SEGRO, said: “As a long-term investor in the Midlands, we believe warehouse infrastructure can contribute to wide socio-economic benefits, from creating sustainable employment opportunities and stimulating economic growth to enhancing infrastructure and enabling better consumer choice. We welcome the approval of the East Midlands Freeport as a way of accelerating the contribution SEGRO, our customers and partners can make to delivering these benefits as well as driving forward the levelling up agenda.”

John Williams, Maritime Transport’s Executive Chairman, said: “Maritime Transport is excited about the Governments' confirmation of Tax Site designation for EMF. The designation and accompanying benefits will undoubtedly attract and accelerate investment into the region, where Maritime's Rail Terminal, located within the EMAGIC Tax Site, is the key freight gateway for East Midlands Freeport global connectivity.”

Dave Johnson, Site Manager for Uniper, said: “Uniper welcomes the Government’s statement confirming Tax Site designation for the EMF. As landowner of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site, Uniper continues to work with regional stakeholders to progress plans for the redevelopment of the site into a zero carbon technology and energy hub for the East Midlands, with the potential to create employment opportunities based around modern industrial and manufacturing uses. The benefits associated with the designation of Ratcliffe as a Tax Site within the freeport will significantly enhance its attractiveness as a location for new businesses; boosting future employment and growth opportunities”

A free webinar event to provide an update on the Freeport and more information regarding the benefits that the Freeport offers for communities and businesses will take place on 22nd March.  To register please email