Today I asked a question to the Chancellor about how the Town Deal and the new Freeport East together will be vital to the creation of new local skills in Ipswich and will therefore be crucial to supporting local businesses.
Through the Town Deal we have initiatives such as the creation of a new Tech Campus and Sustainable Construction Centre based in Suffolk New College, as well the Academy of Yacht Building based on the Island Site which will focus on skills that will lead directly into new jobs.
On top of this, we have the new Freeport East which will progress the levelling up of skills-based jobs in the local area. This Freeport is only one of eight nationally, and that includes airports such as East Midlands Airport. The Freeport East enables us to build a global trade hub on our doorstep providing a great opportunity for local manufacturing businesses. The area will be exempt from import taxes on goods which are not destined for the UK and it will therefore be an attractive draw to manufacturing businesses which can import materials tax free before exporting their products elsewhere. At this time, we are not 100 per cent sure how wide exactly the Freeport area will be, but I want it to be as extensive as possible. It also provides a further incentive for infrastructure improvements which will benefit our county more generally.
The Chancellor agreed that the Town Deal money and the Freeport East will together provide a boost for Ipswich, delivering growth, jobs, and prosperity and he noted my efforts in long campaigning for both the Town Deal and the Freeport for our town.