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Mayor welcomes Freeport East proposal and urges businesses to get behind the bid

23 February 2021

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Freeport East

A proposal to get freeport status for two East Anglian ports should be welcomed by businesses and residents in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, the region’s mayor has said.

Freeport East is a bid, driven by a public and private sector partnership, for the status to be given to an area focused on the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International Port.

Designed to attract major domestic and international investment, freeports will act as enterprise hubs, allowing places to carry out business inside the UK’s land border but where different customs rules apply.

Although strict rules on the physical size of freeports means Freeport East cannot include Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the region’s Mayor James Palmer is backing the bid as, if successful, it will have clear benefits for the area.

Mr Palmer said: “One of the government’s key criteria for freeports, and indeed one of the strengths of the Freeport East bid, is that they support wider growth and innovation.

“With our strong, existing links to the proposed Freeport East area – along the A14 and our freight rail links too – we are ideally placed to benefit from the expansion of trade and innovation the new status would bring about.

“In addition, it would greatly strengthen the case for improvement and expansion of the Ely Railway Junction and further upgrades to the A14.

“That is why I would urge businesses and residents to put their voice behind the Freeport East bid, so we can make an even more compelling case to government.”