Holyhead Port will become one of two Freeports in Wales. Credit: Google Earth

Anglesey secures Freeport status

The North Wales county was one of two Welsh areas to be successful in a bid to become a Freeport, a site that offers tax and customs incentives in a bid to drive up investment.

In addition to the Anglesey Freeport, the UK and Welsh governments confirmed that there would be a Celtic Freeport based in Port Talbot and Milford Haven.

The Anglesey Freeport will centre on Holyhead Port and include science campus M-SParc, the Anglesey Prosperity Zone, and the village of Rhosgoch. Known as Porthladd Rhydd Ynys Môn in Welsh, the Anglesey Freeport will focus its attention on the Energy Island Programme, which seeks to advance marine energy technology – both tidal and wind.

“Freeport status will be an important driver in securing a brighter future for the people of Ynys Môn and indeed North Wales,” said Anglesey County Council Leader Cllr Llinos Medi.

“In the long term, we hope it will help create sustainable economic development and employment across the region,” she continued.

“Too many of our young people have had to leave their communities to find decent jobs and a secure future. We want that to change, and Freeport can help.”

Both the Anglesey Freeport and the Celtic Freeport will receive £26m from the UK government as a non-repayable starter fund.

The successful Anglesey Freeport bid was submitted by Anglesey County Council and Holyhead Port owner Stena Line. The two groups are now working on a full business case for the Freeport, which they estimate will be capable of attracting £1bn in investment and creating at least 3,500 jobs.

Part of the Freeport initiative in Anglesey will include establishing a secure customs site at Holyhead, conducting infrastructure improvement on the port, and restoring railhead and track.

In the Freeport announcement, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Wales is a thriving part of the UK, and today’s new Freeports will see businesses and opportunities for people in and around Anglesey, Port Talbot and Milford Haven go from strength to strength.

“Everyone deserves equality of opportunity and working closely with the Welsh Government has helped to deliver these fantastic new sites.”

First minister of Wales Mark Drakeford added: “The Welsh Government has a clear economic mission to transform the Welsh economy, creating a stronger, fairer and greener future.

“The designation of these sites as Wales’ first freeports will reinforce that mission, building on the significant investments and partnerships we have made in these regions over many years.

“The joint working between governments on the freeport programme should serve as a blueprint for future intergovernmental work on a whole range of issues.”

There are currently eight freeports open for business in the UK, including one in Liverpool City Region.

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Why No mention of MP Virginia Crosby in this article! Virginia has campaigned tirelessly for this and almost single handedly won this cause whilst an incompetent council consisting of Plaid Cymru anti everything sit back and get recognition!!!

By Keith Fitton

@keith fitton yes she should get a mention for her efforts to get the freeport here. And maybe mention her brexit vote harming trade from Holyhead too

By Levelling Up Manager

No mention of the MP as it was a Council submission (and press release?). I’m sure she has had an influence. I wonder if Plaid Cymru will now get behind the need for Wylfa 2. Irrespective it’s some positive news for the island although it also needs to accept it is a tourist destination as well and look at economic growth through that sector following the loss of some significant employers over past years

By Dai Pen Dafad

I would like someone to explain where the 3500 jobs are going to come from and which of N Wales is a thriving economy, re Sunak

By WDI Edwards

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