Solent Freeport Responds to Investment Zone Opportunity

The Solent Freeport has published a copy of its response to the invitation from HM Government to convert its three Freeport Tax Sites to Investment Zones.

Similar to Freeport Tax Sites, Investment Zones offer a range of tax benefits such as business rates relief and enhanced capital allowances. However, tax benefits associated with Investment Zones are beneficial when compared to Freeport Tax Sites. In particular, Investment Zone tax incentives under consideration could last for a period of 10 years, rather than the current period for Freeport tax incentives which expire in 2026.

Government guidance in relation to Investment Zones also includes reference to Investment Zone sites benefitting from a “liberalised planning process”. The Solent Freeport recognise the unique nature of the Solent’s environment: the coast is rich with natural, environmental, heritage and cultural assets and is protected by designations for its wildlife, habitats, inter tidal habitat and landscape character and cultural heritage values. The adjoining area includes significant assets including two national parks and multiple landscape and historic features that create the uniqueness of the area known as the Solent. Designations are international, national, or local and there is a focus on growth that not only protects natural assets but also enhances them for future generations.

In line with this focus, the Solent Freeport have confirmed in their submission to HM Government that they wish to secure the same fiscal incentives for their tax sites as Investment Zones, which will open wider investment opportunities and allow our area to reach its full economic potential ensuring that the benefits are felt by our residents and businesses, only on the basis that we maintain current environmental protections with no dilution of planning powers.

A copy of the full response is available here.