Today (Friday 19 February 2021) MPs from across the political spectrum have come together to urge the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to grant South Yorkshire Freeport status.

The cross-party group of six MPs believe that Freeport status will help to grow South Yorkshire’s advanced manufacturing base creating new opportunities, reducing deprivation and contributing to levelling up the UK.

Signatories include Deputy Speaker and former Minister Dame Rosie Winterton as well as new ‘Blue Wall’ MPs Nick Fletcher, Alexander Stafford and Miriam Cates.

The recently submitted Freeport bid aims to turn parts of South Yorkshire into one of the 10 new UK Freeports, which the Chancellor has put at the heart of the levelling up agenda and plans for post-Brexit Britain.

Modelling undertaken for the application suggests a Freeport in the South Yorkshire would:

  • Create 28,700 new jobs
  • Increase wages by at least 19% (due to a focus on advanced manufacturing)
  • Add £169m to the South Yorkshire economy every year
  • Boost imports by £306m and exports by £410m
  • Unlock or accelerate over £500m of investment
  • Transform the Sheffield City Region into a net exporter of goods by 2029

Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley said: “A Freeport in South Yorkshire could transform the lives of my constituents and others in South Yorkshire while bringing in substantial new investments and businesses to our region, that’s why MPs from across the divide have come together to write to the Chancellor.

“Our unique inland port combination should tick all the Government’s boxes – we have the space to grow, proven expertise to deliver, plans for high-quality job creation and to make a significant contribution to the Net Zero agenda.”