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How we are changing the role of ports in the economy, whilst supporting fair work and the transition to net zero.

First published:
1 September 2022
Last updated:

The Freeport Programme in Wales offers an opportunity to harness Wales’s abundant economic potential.

We worked with the UK Government to design a freeport model, which delivers three main objectives:

  1. Promote regeneration and high quality job creation
  2. Establish the freeports as national hubs for global trade and investment across the economy
  3. Foster an innovative environment

In return, businesses will benefit from being part of a special zone. This includes:

  • simplified customs procedures
  • relief on customs duties
  • tax benefits

The programme includes our policies on fair work and social partnership to ensure workers:

  • are fairly rewarded, heard and represented
  • can progress in a secure, healthy, and inclusive working environment
  • have their rights respected

A Welsh freeport must operate within:

  • the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
  • the Welsh Government’s net zero commitments

Outcome of the Freeport Programme in Wales competition

On 23 March 2023, the UK and Welsh governments announced that Anglesey Freeport and Celtic Freeport have been successful in their bids to establish freeports. They will now move to the next stage of the process.

See the announcement: Wales’ new freeports unveiled

Find out more about how bidders applied for the competition: Freeport Programme in Wales: bidding prospectus

Welsh freeports guidance

We are working with the prospective freeports to ensure they:

  • have a positive impact
  • can start operating as soon as possible

This guidance explains the steps they must follow to begin their operations: Freeport Programme in Wales: setup and delivery phase guidance.

We have published guidance on non-domestic rates retention and non-domestic rates relief

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact