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Kate Forbes: Green Freeports will help us create new, well paid jobs

Scottish government stressing fair work
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes sets out her case for Green Freeports.

Our deal with the UK Government ensures an equal say for both governments in the selection and oversight of Scotland’s two Green Freeports.

Applicants will have to show how they will contribute towards reaching net-zero by 2045 and they will also have to set out how they will create new high-quality, well-paid employment opportunities – with fair work at their heart.

The prospectus underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to fostering wider adoption of fair work practices by businesses, as part of our Fair Work First criteria, including payment of the real Living Wage.

Scotland already has 2,300 businesses registered as real Living Wage employers. That number is increasing daily, and Green Freeports will help accelerate that trend.

‘Major package of incentives’

In return for their investment, applicants that win Green Freeport status will be able to access a major package of devolved and reserved incentives, including significant capital investment and ongoing tax and customs benefits.

Both governments will be providing a range of tax reliefs and financial support through devolved and reserved mechanisms.

The Scottish Government and Scotland’s enterprise agencies will also stand behind Green Freeport businesses with development support and advice.

Aberdeen Harbour, which hopes to submit a joint bid with Peterhead port.

The establishment of Green Freeports in Scotland will help us create new, well paid jobs, deliver a just transition and support our economic transformation.

Creating internationally competitive clusters of excellence will bring major benefits to businesses and our wider economy.

Our interest is in high technology, high innovation, high wage manufacturing, not in a race to the bottom.

Scotland has world beating technology and opportunities, particularly in the offshore renewable energy sector.

Further investment

We see Green Freeports as a mechanism to attract further investment into the sector and to strengthen local supply chains creating good green jobs, all as part of our just transition to a net-zero and climate resilient Scotland.

Since the beginning of negotiations with the UK Government we have secured more than double the original funding for setting up Green Freeports in Scotland.

Reflecting our net zero ambitions, we have adapted the UK’s Freeports programme to meet the needs of the Scottish economy.

This agreement respects the devolution settlement, and ensures UK Government investment into Scotland – including the £52 million set-up costs for the Green Ports – is aligned with Scottish Government priorities.

The deal also ensures equivalent set-up funding from the UK Government for ports in Scotland and England.

Nobody will be left behind as we build Scotland’s sustainable economy.

This is a strategic partnership demonstrating the influence and value of devolved government.

A partnership with shared determination to ensure the highest standards of fair work practice.

This is also, critically, a partnership with the businesses working in Green Freeports.

Nobody will be left behind as we build Scotland’s sustainable economy.

We can only seize Scotland’s economic potential if we create secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs that help build a fairer, more prosperous economy for everyone.

That is a Scottish Government priority and establishing Green Freeports with the vital changes we have secured will help achieve this.

Bidding opens for two green freeports in Scotland

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