Green freeports: Forth and Cromarty Firth announced as freeport sites in boost for Edinburgh, Fife, Falkirk and Inverness

Forth and Cromarty Firth have been confirmed as the two locations for Scotland’s new green freeports.

The sites have been jointly selected by the Scottish and UK governments following what was described as a “rigorous assessment and selection process”.

The two winning bids will be supported by up to £52 million in start-up funding and will benefit from tax reliefs and other incentives.

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The applicants had to demonstrate how they would contribute towards a just transition to net zero emissions by 2045 and create new, green jobs.

The new Leith Outer Berth has been announced as one of the Green Freeport locations

The decision means bids covering Aberdeen, Glasgow and the Clyde, and Orkney have missed out.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Working together delivers results – and I am absolutely delighted that the First Minister and I can announce the delivery of our shared ambition for people in Scotland today with not one, but two excellent green freeport areas.

“In extending the benefits of freeports to Scotland, we are unleashing the potential of the Firth of Forth and Inverness and Cromarty Firth, backing the delivery of thousands of high-quality green jobs for future generations, as we continue to make gains on our commitments to transition to net zero.”

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.

“Inverness and Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth are fantastic areas for these new green freeports to set up, ensuring the benefits are felt right across Scotland. This will help to create exciting new jobs, boost business and encourage investment in the local areas and beyond.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney described it as a “milestone achievement” in the process to deliver green freeports for Scotland.

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“A rigorous joint selection process has been followed,” he said. “The successful applicants showed a strong determination to embed fair work practices, including payment of the Real Living Wage, and to enshrine net zero initiatives in their work.

“We look forward to working closely with them to ensure they deliver maximum positive impact and become operational as soon as possible. We will also work with the unsuccessful bidders to consider how they can build on the plans set out in their bids to deliver jobs and growth in their regions outside the green freeports programme.“Scotland has a rich history of innovation, trade and manufacturing and as we look to seize the many opportunities achieving net zero offers, the creation of these internationally competitive clusters of excellence will help us to create new green jobs, deliver a just transition and support our economic transformation.”

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