The bid is led by Forth Ports, with Babcock, Edinburgh Airport, Falkirk Council, Fife Council, INEOS, Scarborough Muir Group and The City of Edinburgh Council all playing an integral part in the bid 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.

Forth Green Freeport will generate the most economic output and green business growth with genuine export potential through the nation’s logistics centre, as Scotland competes with the rest of the UK and northern Europe for international investment.

£6 billion of new private and public investment, which will deliver 50,000 new green jobs.

These will be across target sectors like renewables, advanced modular manufacturing and alternative fuels, next generation logistics, shipbuilding and the creative industries.

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.

No. Forth Ports has signed an industry-wide charter to uphold the highest standards throughout the operation of any green freeport. All partners are committed to the Fair Work First principles and pay the Real Living Wage.

Payment of the Real Living Wage will be a central condition in our green freeport investment decision principles guiding new investment. This will be implemented and monitored by the board of the green freeport and the governments.

The governments have publicly stated that the dilution of employment, environmental and social standards is not the intention; a point reflected in the bid prospectus.

It states green freeports will ‘…be inclusive places synonymous with high standards of work, governance and financial probity…’

More processing and manufacturing, shipbuilding and port jobs will help to alleviate local deprivation. Ports employment is significantly better paid than local community averages and 47% more productive than the UK average too.