In his Spring 2021 Budget the Chancellor announced that there would be 8 “Freeports” in England with generous tax breaks to encourage businesses to set up and invest in those areas. The devolved governments will also be announcing locations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in due course.
The proposed locations of the freeports can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/freeports#where-are-they-located
SUMMARY OF FREEPORT TAX ADVANTAGES
The main tax and customs duty advantages of locating in a designated freeport area are as follows:-
- SDLT exemption on the purchase of land and buildings in the area
- 10 year write off of the cost of constructing or renovating commercial property
- Enhanced capital allowances for investment in plant and machinery
- Exemption from employers NICs for certain staff working in the freeport area
- Special VAT and Customs Duty rules
7 of the 8 freeport areas are on the coast and thus ideal locations for businesses importing goods into the UK. There is however no restriction on the nature of business carried out within the designated freeport area. The eighth English freeport is around East Midlands Airport which would be an ideal place to locate a distribution centre, being half way up the M1 motorway.
Please contact us for more details on the tax breaks for locating in one of the designated freeport areas.