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Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn - Isle of Anglesey County Council

Successful Freeport bid offers North Wales economic boost

Posted on 23 March 2023

News of Anglesey’s successful Freeport bid has been warmly welcomed by county council leader, Councillor Llinos Medi.

The UK and Welsh Governments have confirmed that the Anglesey Freeport will be one of two new freeports established in Wales.

The successful bid was jointly developed through an equal partnership between the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Stena Line – owners of Holyhead Port and major local employer for 27 years.

Securing Freeport status now has the potential to deliver real, transformational change in communities across Anglesey and the wider North Wales region. Both the county council and Stena Line will now forge ahead to prepare a full business case.

Freeports remove barriers to trade and provide easements that simplify how businesses can operate. According to initial modelling estimates, the freeport would attract £1bn of much-needed investment, including new, high-salary jobs, in the range of 3,500-13,000 across the region.

Council leader and economic development portfolio holder, Councillor Llinos Medi, said, “Freeport status will be an important driver in securing a brighter future for the people of Ynys Môn and indeed north Wales. In the long term, we hope it will help create sustainable economic development and employment across the region.

“Too many of our young people have had to leave their communities to find decent jobs and a secure future. We want that to change, and Freeport can help.”

She added, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by our staff and partners. I’d personally like to thank them and the people of Ynys Môn and North Wales for supporting our bid.”

“We will now work with Stena Line, and other key partners, to prepare a comprehensive and robust business case to be submitted later this year. This will support our aim of creating communities that are healthy, thriving, and prosperous, as well as keep the Welsh language alive on the island.”

Anglesey’s Freeport bid has the backing of 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. This will lead to 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.

Freeport status will also provide a significant boost for the county council’s Energy Island Programme - which aims as a hub for low carbon energy research and development, innovation production and servicing - and support its ambitious target of achieving net zero by 2030.

Chief executive, Dylan J. Williams, said, “We’re pleased to have been able to work alongside Stena Line, with which we have a long and mature working relationship, to prepare this important Freeport bid. This partnership will remain critical moving forward as we look to prepare a full business case to deliver Freeport status for Anglesey.”

“As a county council, we believe Freeport status has the potential to attract significant new investment and additional funding streams to help develop new infrastructure, which otherwise would not be available.”

The Celtic Freeport in Milford Haven and Port Talbot has also been granted Freeport status in Wales.

Ends 23 March 2023

Posted on 23 March 2023