Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport have been jointly selected by the Scottish and UK governments to become Scotland’s first Green Freeports.
Following a rigorous assessment and selection process, the two winning bids will be supported by up to £52 million in start-up funding and will benefit from tax reliefs and other incentives through a combination of devolved and reserved powers.
Applicants to become a Green Freeport in Scotland were required to demonstrate how they would contribute towards a just transition to net zero emissions by 2045 and create new, green jobs. They were also required to set out how they would support high-quality employment opportunities with fair work conditions at their core.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“This is a milestone achievement in the process to deliver Green Freeports for Scotland. Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport will support businesses to create high-quality, well-paid new jobs, promote growth and regeneration, and make a significant contribution to achieving our net zero ambitions. .
“A rigorous joint selection process has been followed. The successful applicants showed a strong determination to embed fair work practices, including payment of the Real Living Wage, and to enshrine net zero initiatives in their work.
“We look forward to working closely with them to ensure they deliver maximum positive impact and become operational as soon as possible.
“We will also work with the unsuccessful bidders to consider how they can build on the plans set out in their bids to deliver jobs and growth in their regions outside the Green Freeports programme.
“Scotland has a rich history of innovation, trade and manufacturing and as we look to seize the many opportunities achieving net zero offers, the creation of these internationally competitive clusters of excellence will help us to create new green jobs, deliver a just transition and support our economic transformation.”
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:
“Scotland has areas of outstanding opportunity but there are also places that can benefit from more investment to truly level up communities that have been overlooked.
“This is a shared challenge faced by us all across the UK, which is why I’m delighted the UK and Scottish governments have collaborated to deliver two Green Freeports in Scotland, which will undoubtedly be transformative for future generations.
“Inverness and Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth are fantastic areas for these new Green Freeports to set up, ensuring the benefits are felt right across Scotland. This will help to create exciting new jobs, boost business and encourage investment in the local areas and beyond.”
The Forth Green Freeport bid aspires to deliver up to an additional 50,000 jobs across the UK, generate £6 billion in investment and contribute over £4 billion in GVA across sites in Grangemouth, Rosyth, Leith, Burntisland and Edinburgh Airport. Its activities will focus on renewables, advanced manufacturing, alternative fuels, carbon capture utilisation and storage, shipbuilding, logistics and the creative industries.
The Inverness and Cromarty Firth bid aims to build a world-beating floating offshore wind manufacturing sector, with sites in the Cromarty Firth, Invergordon, Nigg, and Inverness. It expects to create up to 25,000 new jobs and attract £2.6 billion in inward investment. In addition to offshore wind manufacturing, it will focus on green hydrogen and creating a new innovation cluster.
The bidding prospectus set out the requirements for applicants as well as the assessment and selection process. The Scottish Government will publish more information on the outcome of the assessment and selection process in due course.