The Chancellor announced in the 2021 Budget that Thames will be the site of a new freeport, a specialised economic zone with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business.
The Thames freeport will be a joint venture between London Gateway and Tilbury Ports with Ford in Dagenham. It will be an automotive hub, focussed on developing electric and autonomous vehicles.
Not only will this bring jobs and investment into the region, it reflects the transition from petrol and diesel cars to hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles. The Government plans to bring forward to 2030 the date at which sales of new petrol and diesel cars will end, as part of the drive to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Freeports are a cornerstone of the government’s plan to drive the post-Covid recovery and level up the country. In the letter attached at the bottom of this article, the Chancellor and Communities Secretary outline how freeports will drive regeneration, bringing jobs, investment and prosperity to communities across the country.