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Anglesey takes significant step towards realising Freeport opportunities

Anglesey has taken another significant step towards realising the multi-million-pound Freeport project. 

The Executive today (Tuesday, November 28th) gave the green light to finalise an outline business case (OBC) – prepared by the County Council and Stena Line – and present it to both UK and Welsh Governments next week.

The Anglesey Freeport project is being jointly developed as a public/private partnership between the County Council and Stena Line – owners of Holyhead Port and the former Anglesey Aluminium site and a major local employer for 27 years.

The Freeport partnership will build on Anglesey’s unique island geography, supporting growth of trade through Holyhead port which is the second biggest Ro-Ro port in the UK. It has the potential to deliver real, transformational change in communities across Anglesey and the wider North Wales region.

Completion of an approved full business case (FBC) next year will unlock £26m of Government funding, to be managed by the County Council, as the project’s accountable body. The project will also act as an enabler to provide businesses located within Anglesey Freeport with tax breaks and other benefits.

Council Leader and Economic Development portfolio holder, Councillor Llinos Medi, said, “Today’s decision is the culmination of months of hard work by our officers in conjunction with colleagues at Stena Line. We will shortly be presenting our outline business case to both UK and Welsh Government for approval.”

“This is a significant step forward in unlocking vital Government funding; bringing the Anglesey Freeport project to fruition and securing vital economic benefits to our Island.”

The successful Freeport bid was announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP and First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford AS in March.

Anglesey’s Chief Executive, Dylan J. Williams, added, “Our partnership with Stena Line has already seen considerable work, time and effort invested in delivering Anglesey Freeport. Working closely with both governments, we continue to make progress to deliver the project, significant investment and long-term economic opportunities for the island and wider North Wales region.”

The Anglesey Freeport bid had two main themes:

  • increasing the volume of trade through the port (and restoring the “Land Bridge” between Ireland and mainland Europe)
  • attracting investment into key sites, in particular, from the low carbon energy sector, aligning with the existing Energy Island Programme

Three specific sites were also selected to provide certain tax benefits as part of the bid. They are:

• The Anglesey Prosperity Zone (Parc Cybi and Prosperity Parc, the former Anglesey Aluminium site)

• M-Sparc and

• Rhosgoch

The Freeport project aligns closely with the Council Plan’s vision of ‘Creating an Anglesey that is healthy and prosperous where people can thrive’ and its Economy Strategic Objective of ‘promoting opportunities to develop the Island’s economy.’