Watch a welcome message from Malcolm Bennie, Director of Place Services from Falkirk Council.
The Forth Green Freeport’s Outline Business Case (OBC) was submitted to the Scottish and UK Governments on 24 November. This is an important step in the process towards securing Green Freeport status as the team refines its visionary bid for Scotland. At the heart of the Forth Green Freeport’s vision, which will be delivered by the public and private sector consortium, is the re-industrialisation of Scotland, the creation of large-scale economic regeneration, significant job creation including well paid high skilled green jobs and a just transition to net zero that benefits the wider Green Freeport approved area.
Following submission, the OBC document will now be reviewed by both Governments before being approved, allowing the Forth Green Freeport to become operational. The consortium has now started to develop the Final Business Case which develops the detail in the OBC further and secures the seed capital funding linked to the Green Freeport. The FBC will be submitted to the Scottish and UK Governments in Spring 2024.
What will the Forth Green Freeport deliver?
The Forth Green Freeport’s economic impact assessment forecasts that up to £7bn of private and public investment will be gained over the next decade, delivering Gross Value Added (GVA) of £8.4bn. The FGF will be the catalyst for creating up to 38,350 jobs, with almost 19,000 of these being direct gross jobs linked to the target sectors. The target sectors of the Forth Green Freeport will require a higher paid, more skilled workforce as well as creating other jobs across the supply chains.
The OBC focuses on three strategically located tax sites and a number of potential customs sites, which span 552 hectares in Grangemouth, Leith, Rosyth, Burntisland and Edinburgh Airport. This is a refinement of the overall area following the inclusion of land owned by the Royal Navy in Rosyth (HMS Caledonia) and the joining of the Burntisland site to the Leith site to create the Mid-Forth tax site.
As a result of the increased economic activity associated with the Forth Green Freeport, the consortium remains committed to ensuring that the communities in and around the tax sites benefit from the inward investment. The governing board and the three local authorities aim to deliver ongoing investment in economic related infrastructure that creates and develops a wider sense of place linked to the Forth Green Freeport.
Significant investment is needed over the next decade to reduce industrial carbon emissions across the country through innovations in cleaner fuels, energy and logistics. The Forth Green Freeport will accelerate Scotland’s green development profile, with a focus on offshore wind (fixed bottom and floating), manufacturing and the production of alternative fuels (biofuels and low carbon hydrogen).
The Forth Green Freeport will drive growth in Leith, Burntisland and Rosyth through the manufacture of the next generation of offshore wind components, including floating offshore wind (FLOW) while stimulating innovative shipbuilding and advanced modular manufacturing and assembly at Babcock’s site in Rosyth. In Grangemouth, investment will support the just transition from the reliance on hydrocarbons to alternative fuels and energy sources. Together, these will have a far-reaching impact for the whole of Scotland and provide opportunities for greater trade across the wider Forth Estuary.
The consortium has established a strict set of Investor Principles which all landowners and developers will be required to adhere to. This will include abiding by the Fair Work Charter which prioritises the rights, wages and working conditions of employees. The principles also require businesses to abide with the Forth Green Freeport’s net zero commitments.
Dame Susan Rice DBE has been appointed as the inaugural independent Chair of the Forth Green Freeport Board to oversee the delivery and governance of the ambitious vision to deliver a green growth strategy for Scotland’s industrial corridor. Her appointment was a unanimous decision by all the consortium partners, both public and private sector, and she took over the helm from interim Chair, Charles Hammond OBE, from November 2023.
Dame Susan is a highly respected chartered banker who has had a distinguished career in finance as the former Chair and CEO of Lloyds TSB Scotland, where she was the first female in Europe to lead a clearing bank and Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland. She was also the founding Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and is the former President of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (now named Prosper). Dame Susan has extensive experience in corporate governance as a member of boards across a wide range of public and private sector organisations around the UK and internationally.
Dame Susan’s career background and experience is aligned perfectly as the consortium works together to create the driving force to deliver long term benefits for communities through well paid, skilled green job creation and to assist in achieving the country’s net zero goals.
Robust governance is a key element of Forth Green Freeport. The Interim Board, was chaired by Charles Hammond OBE and included, representatives from all the partners. The Interim Board held four meetings this year (June, September, October and November) and the minutes of each Board meeting are, and will continue to be, shared on the website (forthgreenfreeport.com).
In December, the Governance Board was established with the appointment of Dame Susan Rice as the inaugural independent Chair. The first meeting of this board was held in December.
Dame Susan Rice DBE, Chair of Forth Green Freeport:
“The creation of major port infrastructure, the development of new green industries and re-industrialisation of our communities is hugely compelling to me. As an experienced adviser in delivering long-term economic development projects, I will support the Forth Green Freeport to deliver the community regeneration and many new jobs across Fife, Falkirk, Leith and Central Scotland.”
The full Forth Green Freeport Governance Board is below:
At the core of the Forth Green Freeport vision is a commitment to deliver decarbonisation and the just transition to a net zero economy through the reindustrialisation of the Firth of Forth.
To achieve Scotland’s 2045 net zero commitment, immediate action is needed to decarbonise the Firth of Forth and the Forth Green Freeport will be the driving force of this with a clear focus on tackling current emissions. Companies in Grangemouth alone emit 33% of Scotland’s industrial emissions and across the Firth of Forth accounts for over 40% of Scotland’s industrial emissions.
The consortium partners have all set out their own organisations’ commitment to achieving net zero and any future investors in the Forth Green Freeport will need to confirm that they have decarbonisation plans in place that meet the Scottish Government’s 2045 net zero target.
FGF will make a major contribution to Scotland’s net zero carbon emissions target, support innovation in net zero technologies including offshore wind, green and blue hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels, and build Scotland as an export base grounded in green growth.
FGF’s net zero vision is focused around the tax site areas of Mid-Forth (Leith and Burntisland), Grangemouth and Rosyth. The proposed complementary tax sites at Grangemouth, Rosyth, Burntisland and Leith will provide the space for strategic cluster development in key sectors needed for a just transition.
This will be supported by the trade benefits of customs sites, providing opportunities for inclusive growth to the North and South of the Forth Estuary, as well as East and West across Central Scotland.
For more detail on the FGF net zero vision please visit www.forthgreenfreeport.com.
City of Edinburgh Council
Royal Navy (HMS Caledonia)
Brigadier Andrew Muddimanandrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
Scarborough Muir Group