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Freeport tax relief window extension announced in Autumn Statement

Babcock

The government has announced that it is extending the tax relief window by five years to September 2031 for businesses wishing to invest in the Plymouth and South Devon (PASD) Freeport.

This extension will give businesses, investors and developers certainty and time to take full advantage of the significant tax benefits available to them, including enhanced capital allowances, relief from stamp duty and employer national insurance contributions for additional employees.

Reinforcing the extension in his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor also confirmed that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will publish a Freeports Delivery Roadmap in December outlining the steps the government will take to ensure Freeports are best able to capitalise on the opportunity the extension presents.

The Chancellor also introduced a new £150m Investment Opportunity Fund for Freeports to respond nimbly as investment opportunities arise during the next five years.

The Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is one of twelve Freeports in the UK that have been designated by the government to boost economic growth and create jobs. 

Richard May, CEO at Plymouth and South Devon Freeport, said: “This is excellent news. The tax relief extension to 2031 will enable businesses, investors and developers’ greater certainty and long-term confidence in this flagship government initiative. 

Whilst we await more details about the new Investment Opportunity Fund and the process to access the fund to help further unlock any future investment opportunities, we’re delighted to see levers for promoting growth and investment feature so centrally in the Autumn Statement.

These are great examples of how Freeport status is bringing in significant benefits and investment to Plymouth and South Devon, helping to create new jobs for people living here.”

Jacob Young, Minister for Levelling Up, said: “This freeport is already stimulating economic growth and creating thousands of jobs for people in the South West, and extending tax breaks will push this progress even further.

“Coupled with the additional £20m we have invested from the Levelling Up Fund, we are ensuring that vital private sector investment continues to flow into the region, and local people will see the benefits for years to come.”

The extension of the tax relief extension window is a welcome announcement for businesses who align with the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport’s key sectors of marine, defence, space with low carbon applications and who wish to join the Freeport. The extension will give businesses, investors and developers more time to plan their investments and growth strategies and take advantage of the benefits that the Freeport has to offer.

Earlier in the week, Plymouth City Council, partnering with PASD Freeport, were successful in securing nearly £20 million from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Levelling Up fund to transform Plymouth’s infrastructure and economy as part of the overall Plymouth and South Devon Freeport initiative.

The successful bid will unlock a wealth of opportunities, encompassing projects that will include enhancing the Freeport’s innovation offer and supporting technological advances in the marine and defence arena. Together with port infrastructure and transforming the waterfront, this investment will create new jobs, boost economic activity and elevate the global standing of the city and the region as a centre for marine and maritime innovation.

The Freeport is a dynamic public/private partnership with Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and Devon County Council working alongside Princess Yachts, Carlton Power, the Sherford Consortium and a wider range of stakeholders including Babcock, the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, ABP (Associated British Ports), Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, skills providers and the Heart of the South West LEP to ensure its success.

If you wish to speak to a member of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport team about the tax relief benefits and customs incentives available to new and growing businesses, please contact info@pasdfreeport.com

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