Executive: Councillors to hear on progress of Forth Green Freeport

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Falkirk's councillors heard about the positive progress of the Forth Green Freeport project at a meeting of the Council's Executive on 17 October. It was announced on 13 January 2023 that the Forth was one of two successful bids to host one of Scotland's two green freeports, with Cromarty Firth (Inverness) as the other. Green Freeports are special economic zones that can bring potentially massive benefits for the communities that surround them, through things like job creation and bringing businesses to the area.

Councillors will consider a report on how Falkirk Council is in a strong position to influence the future direction of the project and advance the area's Net Zero and economic priorities. It's hoped the transformational plan will generate up to 50,000 new green jobs in the UK, with 20,000 posts mooted for operations in Grangemouth and its supply chains. Paul Kettrick, Head of Invest Falkirk, said: "The report outlines the considerable progress we have made with our partners on this ambitious development extending across the Forth estuary.

It is the view of officers that this could see massive economic benefits to the Falkirk Council area. You can read the report online[1]. What is a green freeport?

In freeports, normal tax and tariff rules do not apply, meaning goods can be imported, manufactured and re-exported without being subject to import taxes. Typically, companies operating in a freeport zone receive tax incentives to encourage investment and business growth. The Scottish 'green freeport' structure includes a commitment to meeting net zero targets, community benefits and supporting fair work practices.

What is Falkirk Council's role? Falkirk Council has agreed to be the Accountable Body for the Forth Green Freeport bid. The Accountable Body role will be at the strategic centre of planning and coordinating the business case for the project, as well as establishing governance arrangements and channelling grant funding from central government.

Staff from Invest Falkirk, which also leads on projects such as the Falkirk Growth Deal, Tax Increment Finance and Infrastructure Investment Programmes will provide project management and secretariat expertise to the interim board, sub-groups and committees of the Forth Green Freeport.


  1. ^ online (www.falkirk.gov.uk)