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Three bids received for Welsh freeports as applications close

28 Nov 2022 2 minute read
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies has commented after applications closed from bidders interested in setting up a new Freeport in Wales, with bids from the Celtic Freeport and Stena Line in Anglesey (pictures Neath Port Talbot Council and Darren Glanville). Main Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Applications have closed from bidders interested in setting up a new Freeport in Wales.

Backed by £26 million in UK Government funding, the Freeport Programme in Wales aims to create jobs, boost the local economy and regenerate surrounding areas.  

Three bids have been received from ports around the country. 

They will be jointly assessed by officials from the UK and Welsh governments and it is expected that the successful site will be announced in early 2023 before becoming operational later in the year.

The two public bids include the Celtic Freeport whose partners are Associated British Ports (ABP), Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven. 

The other bid has been put forward by Stena Line in partnership with Anglesey County Council.

Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said: “It is fantastic to take the next step in delivering a Freeport for Wales. It will bring jobs and prosperity to its surrounding region and provide a huge boost to the Welsh economy.  

“The UK Government has long been committed to bringing a Freeport to Wales and is delivering on that pledge. The Freeports programme is already returning benefits for businesses and communities elsewhere in the UK and I look forward to seeing similar results for Wales.”  

Wales has already received more than £165m in levelling up funding from UK Government with more to follow in the coming months. 

“This has gone towards projects such as transforming Haverfordwest Castle into an attraction ready for all seasons, a facelift for the Queen’s Ballroom in Tredegar and giving Llandrindod Wells a new lease of life in the form of affordable, energy efficient homes.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
2 months ago

Freeports are abominations! We must not allow this….. “1) Freeports are bound to reduce the protection for workers. Light touch regulation always does in the end. Employers NIC is already going. Maybe it will be pensions next, and then what as desperate measures are taken to make this policy work. 2) Freeports increase the risk of criminals using the port, whether for drug or human trafficking, counterfeit goods or other illicit activity. 3) Having a border around the port will increase paperwork and costs for those using the port. Just look at Northern Ireland. 4) Regulation in freeports is going to… Read more »

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
2 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

The Tories don’t care about employment rights or acts of terrorism and crime, both recently clamped down on in unregulated ports in the EU. Or they care about is making money and hoping it’ll somehow benefit us and the local community (not because they care, but because it buys them votes). When we gain independence – we should banish free ports, as you wrote, they are an abomination!

Restless shade of the assassinated Tywysog Lloegr
Restless shade of the assassinated Tywysog Lloegr
2 months ago

Ugh. This makes me feel dirty. We don’t want these Brexit tvrds thank you

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