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Solent Freeport Chief Executive James is guest speaker at key webinar

Solent Freeport Chief Executive James Hassett will be taking part in a prestigious webinar discussing national freeport opportunities later this month.

James will be joining senior executives from other UK freeports at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) online event on Tuesday, June 25.

It brings together key stakeholders to talk about the Freeport strategy and how it can benefit business through trading opportunities.

James, who joined Solent Freeport as its first Chief Executive in June 2023, said he was looking forward to using the occasion to demonstrate what the Solent has to offer.

He has more than 25 years’ experience leading organisations across a range of industries include in the engineering, environmental and public sectors.

His background and skills are in sustainable development, regeneration and economic development.

James said: “Events and occasions such as this webinar are very important in helping to spread the message that Solent Freeport can really help businesses to grow.

“In seeking to boost inward investment into Solent Freeport, therefore, we need to signal just why businesses should have no doubts about moving here or operating through our ports.

“We are able to offer incentives to encourage economic activity which, importantly, benefits not just the businesses themselves, but also the wider Solent region through its supply chain.

“Solent Freeport will unlock billions of pounds’ worth of investment, create tens of thousands of new jobs and level up our important coastal communities.”

The webinar is being hosted by Alistair Elder, a member of the IoD Trade Advisory Group and co-Chair of the Governance and Policy Group.

The IoD says: “The Government’s Freeport programme is a major opportunity for the UK economy.

“Over the last few years, UK businesses have faced a range of domestic and international challenges, in particular Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Freeport strategy can help the UK economy strengthen its global trading position whilst developing new international relationships.

“Being in such varied locations across the UK, they serve as important gateways into European and global markets. There are several benefits including tax concessions and infrastructure incentives.

“But also, as custom free zones, they will help to boost redevelopment and government support to promote regeneration and innovation. Substantial regional growth will create many opportunities for directors to grow their businesses.

“We have an exciting range of speakers from across the UK who will discuss what this means for business, how to access support, HMRC advice including funding and what can be done to enhance skills to build the workforce needed.”

James will be joined on the webinar by Callum MacPherson, CEO at Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, Simon Green, Chief Executive, Humber Freeport, Simon Reid, Assistant Director for Business Growth, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Steve Beel, Chief Executive at Freeport East and Steve Edwards, Business Development Director of Milford Haven, Wales.

The 12.30pm to 2pm webinar is free to IoD members and £10 for non-members. Interested businesses can register a place here:

The IoD is a UK organisation that supports and represents company directors.