Day: July 13, 2020

Industry calls for more free ports as it warns Chancellor he risks leaving coastal towns behind

Container ships passing near Southampton Docks last year - Andrew Matthews /PA
Container ships passing near Southampton Docks last year – Andrew Matthews /PA

The national association for ports has called on the Chancellor to create more than 10 free ports or risk distorting competition and leaving behind some coastal towns in the Government’s “levelling up” agenda.

A 10-week government consultation ends this week on plans to attract ­investment into post-industrial coastal areas by creating zones where goods do not face tariffs or other taxes usually slapped on imports, alongside other ­incentives including research and development tax credits, capital allowances, discounts on stamp duty and business rates, and local relaxations of planning laws.

However, in a letter to Rishi Sunak seen by The Daily Telegraph, Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, expressed the group of more than 400 ports’ “serious concern” that the proposals appeared to have “limited aspirations” to establish only up to 10 sites.

“The industry

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