Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti is backing the West of England Combined Authority’s bid for Freeport status. The bid, which is being led by West of England Mayor Tim Bowles and other key partners in the region, has the potential to bring in £3 billion to the region’s economy every year and create tens of thousands of jobs.
Freeports are a golden opportunity to cement the UK’s position as a globally trading nation, seize manufacturing market share, drive innovation and regenerate communities. Ten bids will be selected in the Chancellor’s budget in May to go ahead, and Bristol Port, as the most centrally located deep water port in the country, is incredibly well placed to host a freeport.
The Great Western Freeport bid provides strong evidence to demonstrate how it will achieve all three key objectives for our new Freeports, creating jobs and investment in the region. The highly competitive bid has been put together in partnership with the aerospace and nuclear sector, the region’s universities and colleges, innovation centres, local authorities, and business networks.
Commenting, Jack Lopresti MP said:
I am very pleased to support the bid for a Great Western Freeport which will turbocharge economic growth and create tens of thousands of jobs in our region. I’ve written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay to demonstrate my support for the bid.
By supporting the development of the Great Western Freeport, I believe we will be creating an exemplar of what modern, UK freeports are able to achieve; levelling-up communities by promoting regeneration, leading our nation’s recovery from the pandemic by creating decent, well paid jobs of the future, and seizing the opportunities now that we have left the European Union by creating a hub for international trade.
Mayor Tim Bowles said:
This is a huge opportunity for our region. The Great Western Freeport will see our area become a national hub for green manufacturing and trade, playing a vital role in the recovery of our region from Covid-19 and creating up to 50,000 decent, well-paid jobs.
It will help us deliver our aspiration for green and inclusive growth, regenerating areas, attracting new businesses to grow and locate here and create jobs and skills opportunities for residents across our urban and rural communities.
This is a highly competitive process, but we have a strong story to tell. Now we need the whole region to back the bid so we can make a clear case to Government that there is widespread support for the Great Western Freeport.
For more information, go to westofengland-ca.gov.uk/freeport.