Semi Submersible Oil Rig during Sunrise at Cromarty Firth in Invergordon, Scotland

Milestone for green freeport

The UK Government is celebrating the opening of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, stating that this is a ‘significant milestone for Scotland’s economic future.’

Opening today (8th April), the freeport is Europe’s largest heavy engineering cluster, with this bringing a range of tax reliefs. The aim of the freeport is to attract major investment to the area, and this is already expected as projections have identified benefits of £3 billion of investment, as well as the creation of 16,500 jobs in the UK – 12,250 of which will be situated in the Scottish Highlands.

Alongside driving economic growth, the freeport will look to do this in a sustainable way, as it looks to lead the nation’s journey to a net-zero economy.

Calum MacPherson, Chief Executive of Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, said:

“This is a critical milestone in the journey towards the establishment of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport. Coupled with the confirmation in last month’s Budget that tax site status has been extended from 5 to 10 years, it is fantastic news for the Highlands and Islands, Scotland, and the wider UK.

“Together, our Tax Sites, totalling around 520 hectares, amount to the largest green engineering development site in the UK. The incentives available will attract world-wide interest and help raise the region’s potential to become the largest European hub for the development of the offshore wind industry and associated renewable energy technologies.”

The freeport was originally announced in January 2023, with work to secure investment beginning straight away to ensure that the attractiveness of the project was shown off as early as possible. As the project moved forward, collaboration was essential, with this seeing public and private sector partners coming together with the UK and Scottish governments.

Some of the most influential sectors that the freeport will deal in include offshore wind, green hydrogen, marine technologies, life sciences, and heavy machine engineering, with the freeport being described as “a key step towards a brighter economic future for the highlands.”

 

Image credit: iStock

Video credit: Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on X.com (@luhc)

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