04 March 2021

Karl Tucker, chair, Heart of the SW LEP:

“The headline news for us in today’s Budget was the announcement of the successful Plymouth and South Devon Freeport bid. As one of just eight new freeports announced today, it is fantastic to see that the Government has recognised the opportunities the South West presents and the unique offer in this bid.

The Plymouth bid provides a real growth opportunity for the UK internationally, particularly looking at industries such as autonomous marine, and also potentially for short sea shipping to tackle some of the challenges of getting goods in and out of Ireland. It offers genuine innovation too, presenting the freeport as a testbed for marine engineering that isn’t currently being done anywhere else in the country.

Businesses in the South West have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with many operating in the tourism and hospitality sectors or dependent on them, as well as a high number of SMEs, so it is good to see our area recognised by the Government.

See the full Heart of the South West LEP response to the budget here.

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