The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, was keynote speaker at the official launch of the Thames Freeport on Wednesday 15 September 2021.
Joined by Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, and Freeport partners, the Chancellor, announced the commercial opening of the Thames Freeport at the Savoy Hotel in London.
The financial freedoms for Freeport zones, and the Thames Freeport’s unique location and shovel-ready brownfield sites make it exceptionally attractive to businesses and support the region’s long-term growth and levelling up.
The development of the Freeport is being led by key partners: Ford Dagenham in East London; the owners of Tilbury and London Gateway ports in Thurrock; and Thames Enterprise Park.
Businesses in the Freeport zone will also benefit from innovation incentives, which Ford plan to capitalise on by exploring new sustainable business opportunities, including further electric vehicle production.
As well as unlocking green initiatives, the Thames Freeport will boost the local and national economy significantly, attract investment, and create 25,000 quality jobs, and skills opportunities.
Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Darren Rodwell, Chairman of Local London and Leader of Barking & Dagenham Council, said: “The official commercial launch of the Thames Freeport is a significant moment for the Local London region. Our boroughs have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic; as a magnet for businesses the Thames Freeport promises much needed jobs, skills and investment to help level up the region. Along with our successful film studios and re-location of three of London’s famous markets, the Thames Freeport, is part of a bigger and exciting picture for the future of East London.
Importantly, the Thames Freeport will catalyse green investment at Ford and more widely; and will support our clean air and net zero targets. This is all good news for the for people and businesses in our boroughs. I will be working with partners to ensure the Freeport’s benefits reach across the region.”
Coinciding with the launch, Thames Freeport partner, DP World announced that it will begin work on a new fourth berth at its London Gateway logistics hub as part of its £300 million investment to support Thames Freeport.
This significant investment will increase the port’s capacity to accommodate the largest vessels in the world and strengthen supply chain resilience.
Find out more about opportunities at the Thames Freeport: thamesfreeport.com
Local London sits on the Thames Estuary Growth Board, which successfully campaigned for the Thames Freeport.