The location of two Scottish freeports will be named this summer after a £52 million deal was struck between the Holyrood and Westminster governments.
A long-running dispute about the plans has finally been resolved, with the two administrations confirming they will work together to establish the enterprise zones.
Ports at Aberdeen, Peterhead, Cromarty Firth, Dundee and Grangemouth have all expressed an interest in bidding for the special status, which offers tax reliefs and other incentives.
The winning applicants are expected to be announced this summer, and will benefit from up to £52m of seed funding from the UK Government.
Talks collapsed between the two governments last year over the best model to use for the ports.
But we reported last month that an agreement was on the verge of being signed.
It has now been announced that they have reached a deal which will give the administrations in Edinburgh and London an equal say over the assessment and selection process for what will be known as “Green Freeports” in Scotland.
Applicants north of the border will also have to set out their commitments to reaching net zero.
SNP Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I am pleased we have been able to reach an agreement on a joint approach that recognises the distinct needs of Scotland’s economy and enshrines the Scottish Government’s commitment to achieving net-zero and embedding fair work practices through public investment.
“The Scottish Government will have an equal say on all bids, and will expect bidders to adhere to fair work practices including payment of the Real Living Wage.
“Scotland has a rich history of innovative manufacturers and so as we look to grasp the many opportunities of achieving net zero, the establishment of internationally competitive clusters of excellence will help us create new green jobs, deliver a just transition and support our economic transformation.
“We can only seize Scotland’s economic potential if we create secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs that also help build a fairer, more prosperous economy for everyone.
“That is my absolute priority and establishing Green Freeports will be integral to achieving this.”
‘Truly exciting moment’
Michael Gove, the Conservative secretary of state for levelling up, said: “This is a truly exciting moment for Scotland, and I am delighted we will be working together with the Scottish Government to set up two new Green Freeports.
“Green Freeports help inject billions into the local economy, while levelling-up by creating jobs for local people, and opportunities for people all over the UK to flourish.
“By collaborating using opportunities like Green Freeports we can work to level-up the whole of the UK and bring benefits and opportunities to communities that need it most.”