On Wednesday, the Senedd will hold a debate regarding freeports as the competition for UK and Welsh Government funding nears its conclusion.
Currently, three bids are in from across Wales for a chance to benefit from £26 million of direct UK Government funding, as well as reduced taxes for businesses in the freeport area. A Welsh freeport could see up to 16,000 jobs created and further investment or the local area into the billions.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS said:
“Benefits of a freeport cannot be understated, bringing much needed jobs and investment into some of the most deprived areas of Wales.
“The UK Government put the challenge to Wales to submit exceptional bids, and Wales has delivered.
“All three bids would help to transform their local communities in different ways. It’s essential that the UK and Welsh Governments work together to deliver that second freeport for Wales, maximising the opportunities that these bids have to offer.”
The three Welsh Freeport bids are:
The Celtic Freeport (covering Pembrokeshire to Neath) which has estimated that it would create over 16,000 new jobs and up to £5.5 billion in new investment.
The Anglesey Freeport would support up to a £1 billion contribution to UK GDP by 2030, while also creating up to 13,000 new, high salary jobs in Ynys Môn.
The Newport Freeport (including Cardiff Airport) is aiming to increase non-passenger revenues to 50%, ending their reliance of passenger generated income.