Following the announcement of two in Wales, how many freeports are there now in the UK?

Thu 23 Mar 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Top down view of freeport with freight ship passing by shore

The government has today announced two new freeports in Wales – one in Anglesey and one in Port Talbot and Milford Haven.

This follows the eight freeports that were announced in England in 2021, with two further green freeports being developed in Scotland.

What are freeports?

According to, freeports are “special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply”.

They are designed to incentivise investment and jobs-creation in specific sites through tax and customs incentives.

Where are the UK’s freeports?

In 2021’s Spring Budget, then chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the eight following English freeports:

  • East Midlands Airport
  • Felixstowe and Harwich (Freeport East)
  • Humber
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Plymouth
  • Solent
  • Thames (including London Gateway Port and the Port of Tilbury)
  • Teesside

In January 2023, two ‘green freeports’ were announced in Scotland:

  • Firth of Forth
  • Inverness and Cromarty Firth

Today (23 March), two sites were also announced in Wales:

  • Anglesey Freeport
  • The ‘Celtic Freeport’ – including Port Talbot and Milford Haven

Open for business

Six of England’s freeports have been given government approval to begin operations:

  • Freeport East
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Plymouth
  • Teesside
  • Thames Freeport
  • Solent

East Midlands Airport and Humber remain in development.