Freeports have been set up by the Government and are special areas in the UK, based around major trade gateways, where new economic regulations have been designed to drive stronger economic growth. While specific incentives vary, freeports are designed to stimulate employment, support trade, boost economic activity and investment in their local area. There are 12 in total across the UK.

Freeport East covers an area of over a thousand square kilometres in total. Stretching from Felixstowe and Harwich down through Clacton and Jaywick, out around Colchester and Sudbury, Stowmarket and Woodbridge.

Our freeport includes two major ports – The Port of Felixstowe which is Britain’s busiest container port, and Harwich International along with Gateway 14, Stowmarket – the region’s largest business, innovation and logistics park.

Absolutely. Established in early 2023, Freeport East already has designated sites for investment or occupation, with a suite of attractive tax reliefs, a bespoke customs model applicable to any business location in the region, and various benefits supporting net-zero goals, innovation, and skills objectives.

Operating as a not-for-profit company founded by local partners, Freeport East Ltd is the primary counterpart for the UK Government in delivering the Freeport East initiative. Our dedicated team is already actively working with UK and international inward investors promoting opportunities to our businesses and communities. We are also providing vital funding including government-granted seed capital and business rates, to drive growth in crucial areas like skills and innovation.

Freeport East provides excellent development opportunities with easy access to key road and rail networks, major airports, and convenient links to London and Cambridge. As part of the leading East Coast green energy cluster in the UK, we’re uniquely positioned to serve industries like green hydrogen, clean maritime fuel, smart grids and offshore wind. Investment options include developing facilities in our ports at Felixstowe and Harwich, and Gateway 14, the largest business park in East Anglia. With a vast area covering over a thousand square kilometres, Freeport East offers an enviable lifestyle among beautiful landscapes and historic towns.

Freeport East has a targeted set of significant tax reliefs to help boost trade and new investment. These reliefs only apply on the designated tax sites at Felixstowe, Harwich and Gateway 14, near Stowmarket. We also offer a bespoke customs operations model that can be applied to any site, anywhere within our boundaries, designed to turbocharge trade and investment.

Other businesses can also benefit from a number of other funding mechanisms, such as the Clean Growth Fund which is designed to support local businesses to grow, innovate and take new international opportunities.

Find out more about the benefits here.

Freeport East is set to generate 13,500 new jobs and boost the local economy through inward investment. Our main goal is to create good quality stable jobs, reduce inequalities, and provide diverse opportunities. By focusing on skills development, we help local economies thrive, ensuring everyone has access to exciting and sustainable job opportunities. Communities will also receive financial support, demonstrated by the introduction of two new Freeport East funds totalling £800,000. These funds will aid small businesses and create opportunities in green energy and other sectors, promoting local benefits, sustainable growth, and fair distribution of opportunities in underserved areas.

Freeport East is backed by £25 million in government funding to enhance and prepare our sites, ensuring they are appealing and well-prepared for potential investments. As we grow, ongoing support will come from business rates across three tax sites. We’re also actively collaborating with local authorities and partners to secure additional funding for key initiatives, such as regeneration, innovation, decarbonisation, and skills development.

As well as the significant tax and customs benefits there are many other ways that Freeport East can provide support. Whether you are a potential investor, a partner seeking collaboration or an individual interested in learning more about our services, we want to hear from you. Please get in touch with the Freeport East team and discover the exciting opportunities available.

Please get in touch with the Freeport East team and discover the exciting opportunities available.