Thames Freeport looks to boost investment and trade after receiving final government approval

Tue 21 Mar 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Freeport site with freight container ship

Thames Freeport received final government sign off yesterday (20 March), becoming the sixth site to go live.

According to a government statement, the Thames Estuary-based freeport will receive £25m in seed money from central government, as well as millions more in locally retained business rates to help drive growth in low carbon, logistics and advanced manufacturing industries.

The government also hopes that it will bolster the region’s electric vehicle and green energy industries.


Levelling up minister Dehenna Davison said:

“We’re delivering on our mission to grow the economy and level up right across the UK.”

“Thames Freeport is up and running and will bring high quality jobs, investment and trading opportunities for businesses in the region.”

Director of strategic projects and international development at the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), Kevin Shakespeare, said:

“We’re pleased to see that another English freeport has gone live, offering opportunities for expansion for companies around London and the Thames Estuary region.

“The customs site in particular offers a range of benefits to businesses involved in international supply chains. Companies looking to benefit from this should reach out to the IOE&IT for more information and support.”


Authorities estimate that 12,000 new jobs will be created in the London region around the freeport’s three hubs in Tilbury, Dagenham and London Gateway.

Businesses setting up in freeports are offered tax incentives and simplified customs procedures, unlocking investment opportunities.

Other sites

As reported previously by the IOE&IT Daily Update, over half of the eight English freeports had become operational by January after the Liverpool City Region and Freeport East sites joined Plymouth, Solent and Teesside freeports in opening for business.

The announcement of the Thames Valley site leaves just two English freeports – Humber and East Midlands Airport – still waiting to go live, with two Scottish green sites at the Firth of Forth and Inverness and Cromarty also awaiting government sign off.

A decision is expected soon on a planned freeport in Wales.