13 December 2021


Freeport East passes major Milestone

Freeport East has moved a significant step closer to fulfilling its vision. The outline business case has been formally approved by Government, the three tax sites in Felixstowe, Harwich and at Gateway 14 near Stowmarket have been agreed, published on GOV.UK and Statutory Instruments laid to enshrine them in legislation. 

George Kieffer, Acting Chairman of Freeport East, said:

“This is a major achievement. Freeport East represents a unique opportunity to deliver economic growth and will create many high skilled jobs in the local communities. It will work closely together with the private sector as well as education institutions to create these opportunities through innovation and investment. Following designation, businesses investing in the Freeport’s tax sites will be able to benefit from a number of tax reliefs.

“The UK Freeports policy is designed to encourage businesses from around the world to create new hubs of global trade that will transform economic prospects and job opportunities for local communities. The location of Freeport East, with the country’s main unitised trade hub at its core and 50% of planned offshore wind capacity on its doorstep, could not be better placed to deliver on these objectives and to help the UK achieve its ambitious energy transition objectives.”

The tax reliefs that will be available in the designated tax sites are; Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief, Enhanced Capital Allowances, Enhanced Structures and Buildings Allowance, National Insurance Contributions rate relief and business rates relief.

Freeport East will create a global trade hub, resulting in economic growth, bringing more jobs and prosperity to the region. The project will accelerate opportunities in green energy and will help level-up the national economy.

In addition to the three tax sites, Freeport East will have customs sites at Felixstowe, Harwich, Gateway 14, Port One Logistics Park, Horseley Cross, Uniserve and PD Ports.


Notes to editors:

More information about Freeport East can be found at its website,, or by following @FreeportEast on Twitter.

For further information, please contact Paul Davey on Tel No: +44 (0)1394 602063 or E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Freeport East partnership includes Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe, Hutchison Ports Harwich International, Harwich Haven Authority, Haven Gateway Partnership, New Anglia and South East Local Enterprise Partnerships, Suffolk and Essex County Councils, East Suffolk Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Tendring District Council.

The vision for Freeport East is:

To be a Global Freeport for the 21st Century; the combined strength and unrivalled size of Felixstowe and Harwich provides the perfect Gateway between Britain and the rest of the world. With its strong and unique transport connections, Freeport East will benefit the Midlands and Northern Powerhouse of the UK as well as the East of England through its unparalleled access to the wider world. Already the UK’s biggest container port, with deep sea and European Ro-Ro services, Freeport East will grow further through shovel-ready sites and an ongoing pipeline of land to become an innovation testbed for cutting-edge port technology and clean energy. Through its links with world-class research-intensive universities and global digital innovators, the Freeport will develop emission-free Smart Port benefits for all – enabling the UK to meet the Government’s carbon agenda for ports earlier than 2050 - and becoming a leader on the world stage.