The Forth Green Freeport partners include Babcock, Edinburgh Airport, Falkirk Council, Fife Council, Forth Ports, INEOS, Royal Navy, Scarborough Muir Group and The City of Edinburgh Council, who all play an integral part in the development and the delivery of the planned Forth Green Freeport programmes.
Green freeports are areas of operational and development land linked to a port where normal tax and customs rules are varied to promote growth and trade.
A modern green freeport can comprise a mixture of digitally linked, discreet customs and tax sites.
The policy seeks to create innovation hubs which boost global trade, attract inward investment and increase prosperity in the surrounding area by generating employment opportunities, alongside accelerating decarbonisation and a just transition to a net zero economy by 2045.
At a green freeport, imports can enter with simplified customs documentation and without paying tariffs.
Businesses operating inside designated areas in-and-around the port can manufacture goods using the imports and add value, before exporting again without ever facing the full tariffs or procedures, subject to trade agreements. If the goods move out of the green freeport into another part of the country, however, they have to go through the full import process, including paying any tariffs.
Green freeports is a placed-based policy similar to English enterprise zones. These designated areas are subject to a broad array of regulatory flexibilities, tax breaks and government support.
The green freeport policy aims to drive investment into deprived communities, increasing employment opportunities and economic activity.
New private and public investment, which will deliver thousands of new green jobs.
An accelerated pathway to net zero.
Our cluster partners are integral to the success of a just transition to a low carbon future.
Without an accelerated green pathway for the nation’s industrial cluster, skills, people and carbon will drain from the system.
Forth Green Freeport will deliver:
- Scotland’s biggest offshore renewables development platform across Burntisland, Leith and Rosyth
- A thriving hydrogen economy and alternative fuels cluster for Scotland’s transport sector
- New freight, rail and alternative fuel terminals
- Upgrades to public and private infrastructure
- Skills programmes through a dedicated fund
- New R&D and innovation centres, SME / start-up incubators and training facilities
- Establish an innovation network to bring together the right academics and businesses in the right locations
On tax, the Scottish and UK governments propose measures to incentivise private business investment.
These include Land and Building Transaction Tax Relief, enhanced Structures and Buildings Allowance, enhanced Capital Allowances, Employer National Insurance Contributions Rate Relief and Non-Domestic Rates Relief.
The governments propose a place-based planning approach to facilitate construction and development at green freeports. This will be facilitated through the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), currently under review by the Scottish Government.
The Forth Green Freeport (FGF) is set to deliver sustainable, inclusive growth across Central Scotland. It targets industry sectors that are complementary to existing businesses using net zero technologies. A great deal of these are in new green industries. It will provide incentives to regenerate brownfield sites close to areas of deprivation. Tax levers will help the FGF attract new business into the area by increasing the capacity of these businesses to invest.
The Forth Green Freeport (FGF) will advertise posts from FGF businesses on the FGF website and social media channels.
Recognising that effective recruitment, selection and retention of suitable skilled and qualified employees are central to this process, the FGF partners are committed to applying our Equal Opportunities Policy at all stages of the recruitment process. The local population will be given opportunities through learning and development to take advantage of the emerging skilled jobs and these opportunities will also be advertised on the Forth Green Freeport website.
The FGF project will provide opportunities for skilled jobs and training locally where they are most needed, giving opportunities in the medium to long term to uplift the earnings potential in the area, creating wealth that will circulate locally and improve the environment for whole communities.
The FGF consortium has made a commitment to make a contribution of up to £2.1million into a Skills Fund over the lifetime of the Green Freeport to be spent across the FGF local authority areas. The focus of the Skills Fund will be on the workforce directly employed in the tax sites and those within the supply chain in the wider Green Freeport area. The fund will provide direct support to institutions to deliver skills training for local workers, tailored to the needs of the Green Freeport.
FGF customs sites will increase trade through Scotland’s international (water and air) gateways and support the growth of trading businesses.
The customs offering has the potential to improve the cost competitiveness of its sites through access to simplified customs processes, in addition to duty and VAT deferment and exemption benefits.
This could encourage on-shoring/nearshoring to Scotland – driving new investment, new jobs and new trade opportunities – as well as making it more accessible for existing businesses (including SMEs) in the FGF outer boundary to consider new export opportunities.
Green Freeport customs benefits available at the ports will improve the attractiveness of the port centric facilities and improve the accessibility (cost/process) to trade for manufacturers and logistics customers, in particular the SME community who may not previously have had the scale or the resources to use special customs procedures.
Edinburgh Airport also acts as a custom site as part of the Forth Green Freeport (FGF) project which businesses can benefit from.
Alongside this, FGF tax sites have allocated significant areas of brownfield land for development of manufacturing capabilities. The Green Freeport levers are the right approach for rapidly expanding manufacturing output as they will accelerate construction of facilities, and de-risk manufacturers’ investments in the skilled personnel required to deliver manufacturing outputs.
Local communities are at the heart of the Forth Green Freeport (FGF). The positive ambition is to deliver a just transition for Scotland’s industrial heartland, and to support communities who can benefit from the resultant economic growth; through training for enhanced skills, improved environmental conditions and greater access to high quality green focused, long-term jobs.
Community engagement activities will be a priority as the FGF progresses, allowing for communities to ask questions and discuss topics important to them.
The Outline Business Case (OBC) was submitted to the Scottish and UK Governments on Friday 24 November. The OBC will now be reviewed by both Governments. Subject to detailed feedback, the Final Business Case (FBC) will be prepared, with a view to being approved in 2024 and, therefore, allowing the Forth Green Freeport (FGF) to become operational.
The FGF consortium will then develop the FBC, which develops the detail in the OBC further, and enables to the FGF to unlock the £25m of seed capital funding linked the Green Freeport. The FBC will be submitted to the Scottish and UK Governments in spring 2024.