Stena Line and Anglesey County Council have made a bid to establish a major Freeport to bring prosperity and an economic boost to the region for many years to come.
As well as Holyhead port, Stena Line has invested in a major 213-acre site, which, aligned with a number of sites that are in the process of being selected across Anglesey, will lead to wide-ranging benefits to many parts of the region’s economy.
Stena Line is pledging a major foreign investment in Holyhead Port, which is the second largest roll-on/roll-off port in the country and an international gateway to Ireland, via the Irish Sea and an integral part of the “land bridge” between Britain and the EU.
If successful, the bid is predicted to return Holyhead to pre-Brexit levels of trade and cement the area as a hub for innovation in trade and clean energy, with industry-leading initiatives along its coastline driving the UK towards its net zero objectives.
There are already discussions underway with major businesses and institutions who are supporting the bid and are interested in bringing investment to the freeport. The local public are now being asked to unite behind the bid and show their backing for this once in a lifetime opportunity for the region by registering their support at www.angleseyfreeport.co.uk
Freeports remove barriers to trade and provide easements that simplify how businesses can operate. According to initial modelling estimates, the Anglesey Freeport would attract £1bn of much-needed investment, including new, high-salary jobs, in the range of 3,500-13,000 across the region. The bid, which has the backing of 17 major businesses from a range of sectors and industries, including Rolls Royce, Bechtel and Last Energy, along with major educational partners such as Bangor University, would see the establishment of a secure customs zone at Holyhead and other sites on Anglesey with special tax and tariff arrangements designed to attract major domestic and international investment.
Ian Hampton, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Stena Line said: “Stena Line is determined to see a transformation in investment and economic activity for the Anglesey community. We have been part of this community for over 27 years and want to see this bid succeed. We know it can bring in transformational investment, drive innovation and create high-skilled, high-wage, high-value jobs. It can cement the region as a hub of global trading excellence.
“The freeport has many different elements. As well as manufacturing hub it can become a world leader in blue innovation, help the realise the successful vision of the Energy Island Programme and we want to see the establishment of World Customs Academy on the Ynys Môn.”
Cllr. Carwyn Jones, Deputy Leader of the Council said: “A freeport would be a key pillar in creating long term, sustainable economic development on the Island and across the Region. Too many of our people, particularly our young people, feel they need to leave the Island to get decent jobs and a secure future. We want that to change, and it can.
“To do this we need the investment to reinvigorate the local economy in a long-term and sustainable way. This will enable communities that are healthy, thriving, and prosperous, as well as keeping the Welsh language alive on the island. That is the key to a secure future for the people of Anglesey and indeed north Wales.
“We are particularly pleased to have an education, skills and training component so prominent in the bid thinking. It is fantastic to have ongoing conversations with Bangor University, a world leader in impact-driven research, to identify and tailor educational opportunities to the potential job creation that the Freeport could support.”