Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced news of the successful Freeports bid in the recent budget (3 March 2021).
Freeports are a Government programme to create world class hubs for trade and investment to help the economy recover from the pandemic and a post-Brexit Britain while helping to level up the country bringing jobs and prosperity.
LCR’s Freeport is set to boost its economy by an estimated £850m and create 14,000 jobs.
The 300-acre Wirral Waters development is one of the largest mixed-use regeneration projects in the UK. Under the LCR Freeport designation, the Marine, Energy and Automotive Park (MEA Park) neighbourhood and Northside area of Wirral Waters would become a tax site with a focus on supply chains, manufacturing, logistics and innovation. This aligns with the Wirral Waters masterplan with East Float continuing to be developed out for sustainable waterside residential, educational, commercial and leisure uses.
Port Salford is a proposed tri-modal freight facility and distribution park on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Eccles, Salford and would become a Freeport customs site centred around the trade of goods.
Both Wirral Waters and Port Salford are also part of Ocean Gateway, a redevelopment strategy for the North West focusing on opportunities across the Peel Group portfolio in the corridor between Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
Anthony Hatton, Peel L&P’s Director of Strategic Projects said: “We’re delighted to hear the Chancellor’s announcement that the Liverpool City Region’s bid to become a Freeport has been successful. We’re proud that our Wirral Waters and Port Salford developments have helped to the strengthen the case. As a hub for global trade and investment, the Freeport will promote levelling up through regeneration, attracting foreign investment, creating new jobs and facilitating innovation, particularly in low carbon technology.
“Wirral Waters is a nationally significant regeneration site that will support manufacturing and, through the creation of a £23m Maritime Knowledge Hub, will be a focus for dedicated maritime and decarbonisation innovation. The inclusion of our Port Salford tri-modal freight facility and distribution park will provide an inland customs site with rail access to the Port of Liverpool and the West Coast Mainline.”
Photo: CGIs showing Wirral Waters’ MEA Park and Port Salford.
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