Gordon MP Richard Thomson has given his backing to the North-east’s bid for a Green Freeport covering Aberdeen City and Peterhead. The SNP MP attended the launch event of the bid this week at Aberdeen Airport.
Final analysis of the economic benefit of the bid found that up to 32,000 highly-skilled jobs will be created and Gross Added Value (GVA) income will be boosted by £8.5bn over the next 10 years if the region becomes one of two areas in Scotland to be granted transformational green freeport status.
The North-east Scotland Green Freeport consortium – led by the Port of Aberdeen, Peterhead Port Authority, Aberdeen International Airport, and the region’s two local authorities – has vowed to use the designation to place the area at the heart of the global energy transition.
The status will lead to the North-east becoming the Net Zero Capital of Europe through the development of pioneering carbon-free technologies – a move which will also help regenerate and transform local communities and provide opportunities for those who need them most.
The bid will bring large-scale, advanced manufacturing to Aberdeen to maximise economic benefit from Scotland’s rapidly-growing offshore wind and hydrogen sectors and accelerate pioneering carbon capture projects on the Buchan coast. The partners believe that the fusion of green freeport status with the North East’s world-leading energy expertise will lead the UK’s decarbonisation drive and just transition to a net zero economy.
It will also create a regional customs hub for premium and globally recognised Scottish food and drink exports, building direct links to key markets for products such as Scotch whisky, seafood and meat produce.
As final preparations were being made to submit the bid to Westminster and Holyrood, local politicians gathered at Aberdeen International Airport to hear first-hand how green freeport status could help support decarbonisation of the aviation industry. Sustainable aviation fuel and the roll-out of drone technology are among the initiatives that could be pioneered locally if the bid succeeds.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“Having made the case through the passage of the legislation at Westminster for a green freeport model, I very much welcome this North-east bid which can help meet Scotland’s net zero ambitions, supports the local economy, and also upholds high standards of environmental protections and fair work practices.
“It is clear there is support from businesses for green freeports and I look forward to the North-east bid progressing.”
Jon Matthews, Group Head of Capital and Planning at Aberdeen International Airport, said:
“We are delighted to have cross-party support and we are urging politicians of both parliaments to make the strongest case possible to the respective governments.
“The North-east Scotland Green Freeport bid is a real opportunity to establish our region as the Net Zero Capital of Europe. It will deliver a sustainable economic future for the region with 32,000 fair-work long-term jobs. The strength of our bid lies not only in our net zero and global export ambitions, but in the strong collaboration we have here, built on world class foundations.
“In addition to our international airport - the most connected regional airport in the UK - and two major marine ports with combined goods exports of over £1bn in 2021, we have cross-party support from an array of stakeholders, private sector and academia. We can really harness the team-North-east approach to deliver a prosperous new chapter in our industrial story, with far-reaching benefits.”
Further information about how to back the bid can be found at www.northeastscotlandgreenfreeport.com. Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce is also drafting an open letter of support which businesses can sign to demonstrate support. Further information is available at www.agcc.co.uk
Note: Photograph attached shows Richard Thomson MP at the launch even at Aberdeen Airport.