Portsmouth City Council are backing Solent Local Enterprise Partnership's Freeport bid for the region, as deadlines close today to be in the running to become one of ten new special enterprise zones across the UK.
Portsmouth International Port, which is owned by the council, is one of more than 30 ports and airports across the UK interested in becoming a Freeport, with all bids to be judged by an assessment panel in March, with decisions made in spring.
Freeports are secure customs zones located at ports where business can be carried out inside a country's land border, but where different customs rules apply.
This can reduce administrative burdens and tariff controls, provide relief from duties and import taxes, as well as ease tax and planning regulations.
Dunsbury Park, a business park that is owned by the council, has been identified as a Freeport tax site.
If the bid is successful, Dunsbury Park would be able to offer prospective customers tax relief through stamp duty, business rates, National Insurance contributions, enhanced capital allowance and enhanced structures buildings allowances.
Commenting, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: “Our Solent region has a dynamic and fast growing marine and maritime sector and an appetite for innovation, so we’re delighted to join our partners to deliver a strong Freeport bid.
“Our proposal provides sustainable and long-term opportunities. We’ll bring trade closer to home, providing global connection to the UK through the advantages of our combined road, rail, air and sea networks.
“With a designated customs site at Portsmouth International Port and a tax site at Dunsbury Park, there are exciting opportunities for business growth resulting in employment opportunities, making Portsmouth and surrounding areas the showcase for a Global Britain.”