Scottish Green Freeports

Two new freeport zones have been established in Scotland with offshore wind related manufacturing as a key element of their plans going forward

Scottish Green Freeports
As part of the introduction of freeport sites across Great Britain and Northern Ireland the Scottish and UK Government's have awarded freeport status to two zones in Scotland. The Scottish Government wanted these new freeport zones to be sites associated with the manufacture of renewables and other low carbon technologies along with the creation of the related new green jobs, hence the label of Green Freeports.  

What is a Freeport?
'The freeport model includes a comprehensive package of measures, comprising tax reliefs, customs, business rates retention, planning, regeneration, innovation and trade and investment support.

Eligible businesses in Freeports will enjoy a range of tax incentives, such as enhanced capital allowances, relief from stamp duty and employer national insurance contributions for additional employees. These tax reliefs are designed to encourage the maximum number of businesses to open, expand and invest in the Freeports which in turn will deliver increased employment across the local zone area and beyond.

Freeports will benefit from a range of customs measures, allowing imports to enter the Freeport custom sites with simplified customs documentation and paying either delayed or no tariffs (on re-exported goods). This means that businesses operating inside designated areas in and around the port may manufacture goods using these imports, before exporting them again without paying the tariffs and benefit from simplified customs procedures.'
Description on UK Government website - 

Further information on the two Green Freeports in the Forth and Cromarty areas is outlined below.

Forth Green Freeport

Based round the ports in the Firth of Forth near Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh, this new freeport zone is looking to become a hub of green manufacturing.

The consortium behind the successful freeport bid was led by port owner and operator, Forth Ports, and includes a blend of both private and public sector partners including but not restricted to: 

On the infrastructure side of the equation the zone includes port sites at:  

  • Leith 
  • Rosyth
  • Grangemouth
  • Burntisland
  • Babcock (Rosyth)

These ports, along with related development sites and Edinburgh Airport, make up the mix of tax and custom sites required to deliver the freeport activities across the zone. 
Plans are already in place to develop offshore wind related activities at three of these sites i.e. Leith, Rosyth and Burntisland with Leith earmarked for the largest such development as shown in the video from Forth Ports below on the Leith Renewables Hub. The Hub is supported by offshore wind developers bp and EnBW.

More information is available on the Forth Green Freeport web site which can be accessed using the link below.     

Forth Green Freeport web site

Cromarty Green Freeport

This new freeport zone is made up of the three ports in the area around Inverness along with Inverness Airport itself. The ports involved include Port of Cromarty Firth, Port of Nigg and the Port of Inverness.

Opportunity Cromarty Firth is the consortium behind the freeport and is comprised of partners from the private and public sector. From the infrastructure side of the equation this includes:

  • Port of Cromarty Firth Authority
  • Global Energy Group
  • Inverness Harbour Trust
  • Highland Deephaven
  • Inverness Airport Business Park

The Steering Group also includes many other partners who are stakeholders in the area and the offshore wind sector is well represented by developers with projects that could be assisted by the freeport. The list of partners include:

  • Highland Council
  • Semco Maritime
  • Anderson Strathern
  • Serimax
  • PSG Marine & Logistics
  • Johnston Carmichael
  • Aventus Energy
  • Inverness Chamber of Commerce
  • BlueFloat Energy
  • Renantis
  • Orsted
  • Scottish Power
  • Floating Energy Allyance
  • Shell
  • Storegga
  • Fred Olsen 1848
  • SENSEwind

The zone partners are looking at offshore wind related manufacturing and green hydrogen production as two of the main strands of development across the freeport sites. 

More information is available on the Opportunity Cromarty Firth web site using the link below.


Cromarty Green Freeport web site

Video showing the planned Leith Renewables Hub development - Video credit: Forth Ports