SCOTLAND’S first Green Freeports have been announced, with the two winning bids set to be supported by up to £52 million in start-up funding.
Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport have been selected by the Scottish and UK Governments and will benefit from tax reliefs and other incentives.
Applicants were required to demonstrate how they would contribute towards a just transition to net zero emissions by 2045 and create new, green jobs. They were also required to set out how they would support high-quality employment opportunities with fair work conditions at their core.
Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney said, “This is a milestone achievement in the process to deliver Green Freeports for Scotland. Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport will support businesses to create high-quality, well-paid new jobs, promote growth and regeneration, and make a significant contribution to achieving our net zero ambitions.”
UK Government levelling up secretary Michael Gove said, “Scotland has areas of outstanding opportunity but there are also places that can benefit from more investment to truly level up communities that have been overlooked. This is a shared challenge faced by us all across the UK, which is why I’m delighted the UK and Scottish Governments have collaborated to deliver two Green Freeports in Scotland, which will undoubtedly be transformative for future generations.”
The Forth Green Freeport’s activities will focus on renewables, advanced manufacturing, alternative fuels, carbon capture utilisation and storage, shipbuilding, logistics and the creative industries.
The Inverness and Cromarty Firth bid aims to build a ‘world-beating’ floating offshore wind manufacturing sector, with sites in the Cromarty Firth, Invergordon, Nigg, and Inverness.
The leader of the City of Edinburgh Council said the success of the Forth Green Freeport bid will boost the local authority’s green redevelopment of the capital’s coastline and help towards zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Council leader Cammy Day said, “This is great news for north Edinburgh, the city and the region as a whole. I want to congratulate everyone involved in what was a hugely impressive bid. The Forth Green Freeport will bring significant economic and other benefits to the region – most obviously in terms of new jobs, creating up to 50,000 in total, 11,000 of which will be here in Edinburgh.”
Leader of Highland Council, Raymond Bremner, also welcomed the announcement. He said, “This is fantastic news which heralds a very bright future for the Highlands. We are well positioned, primed and ready to play a key role in delivering the UK’s energy security strategy and become a global centre of renewable energy. The freeport status and ensuing developments have real potential to reverse the long standing socio-economic issues facing the region.”