Regional investment opportunities following Freeport announcement

August 2021

Lyndon Firth leads the BDO VAT service line in Yorkshire and the North East.

Yorkshire & Humber businesses rethink investment plans in light of Freeport announcement.

Businesses in Yorkshire & Humber plan to invest more in the region in the coming 12 months, following the announcement by the Government to introduce eight new Freeports, including the Humber.

74% of mid-sized businesses in the region – the highest proportion across the UK – intend to change investment plans in light of Rishi Sunak’s announcement in the March 2021 Budget. This compares to a national average of 51%.

With Freeports promoting new investment, innovation and employment, it’s unsurprising that businesses are rethinking their current plans. However, given that the initiative is still at a relatively early stage, it’s encouraging to see such a high proportion of companies making decisions based on the announcement.

It demonstrates the optimistic and proactive approach of the region’s mid-sized businesses - one which is to invest in long-term growth for their own businesses and the wider region. As more detail is revealed, this policy could also be one that successfully contributes to the Government’s wider agenda of levelling up.

Originally operating between 1984 and 2012 across seven locations, their revival comes with a bespoke Freeport model, along with a number of additional tax incentives and reliefs for organisations. These will encourage business investment in capital assets and employment, and will support the regeneration of underprivileged areas and drive wider economic recovery across the regions.

Companies focused on shipping and logistics will benefit the most from these proposals, as well as businesses that have import or export operations. There are clear financial gains to be made, together with other advantages – such as reduced administration through declaration requirements.”

For more information on Freeport related tax and duty reliefs please visit the national BDO website or email me directly at [email protected] if you have any queries you would like to discuss.


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