News: Harry Theochari responds to Prime Minister's remarks on Free Ports

Responding to the new Prime Minister's remarks on Free Ports, Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, said:

“The UK is an island nation, with a strong and proud maritime history. Maritime UK has recently launched the Coastal Powerhouse campaign, with a manifesto setting out actions for both industry and government to unlock the potential of our coastal communities.

“We are pleased to see the new PM looking at ways of boosting growth in coastal communities. While Free Ports have proved successful in stimulating investment and jobs in a range of locations around the world, they are not a silver bullet, nor the only tool to unlock further investment and turbocharge growth in our coastal communities. They are one of a range of measures which would improve productivity and trade in and around the UK’s ports, adding more value to the UK and local economies. We are eager to discuss these proposals with the new government.

“This Monday, we will be in Plymouth to formally launch the Coastal Powerhouse campaign. A positive new initiative designed to shine a spotlight on some of the most innovative and dynamic activity taking place in our coastal communities, whilst setting out the steps needed to unlock further new growth. Those steps include investing in maritime research and innovation in key areas like decarbonisation, unlocking new private investment in ports by tweaking development rules, investing in connectivity and infrastructure, and backing industry-led regional cluster hubs.

“Industry is already creating five new regional cluster hubs in the South West, Solent, East Coast and Scotland to bring companies, local government and academia together to drive growth and transform their communities.

“Conservatively, we estimate creating these new hubs will create 25,000 new jobs within coastal communities. In reality, taken with the other actions set out on Monday, we believe this number will be far greater”