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RSM UK urge firms to apply to the Freeport Special Procedure

By Laurence Mcclenaghan
23 June 2022

Solent business owners are being reminded of the need to apply to the Freeport Special Procedure if they wish to take advantage of the regions changing tax status.

A total of eight Freeport locations across the UK were announced by the government in the March 2021 Budget. The Business case for such a facility in the Solent was completed and filed with government in April 2022.

It is currently awaiting final approval, and RSM UK are advising businesses they need to prepare now.

Solent 2050, the Solent LEP’s long-term economic strategy, along with two further funding opportunities: the SME Priority Sectors Loan Fund and the Solent Prosperity Loan Fund were launched earlier this month in preparation of the Freeport.

Tax and consulting firm RSM UK is reminding businesses in the Solent region that the new Freeport will bring a range of tax incentives, but only if owners have applied through the government’s Freeport Special Procedure.

Freeports grant businesses enhanced capital allowances, stamp duty relief and simplified customs rules. These help promote regeneration, boost trade and investment, and create additional employment, as more businesses open within the designated Freeport.

It is expected a Solent Freeport will create 32,000 jobs across the UK and will attract an estimated £2 billion of extra investment.

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Paul Anthony, RSM’s regional managing for the South, said: "The UK government has pledged its customs operations will be envied across the world, and they have set tight parameters to achieve this. Although the Freeports model is not strategically new in a global context, it will be the first step in showing the world that the Solent and the UK is open to international trade post-Brexit. The less stringent controls and tax benefits will be particularly enticing to traders, while the regeneration of the Solent will be welcomed."

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