Parliamentarians unite to add their support to the North East Scotland Green Freeport campaign

Parliamentarians from across the political divide have united to throw their weight behind the North East Scotland Green Freeport bid.

By Morag Kuc
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 1:38 pm
Uniting to back the bid (left to right) Jon Matthews Group Head of Capital and Planning at Aberdeen International Airport; David Duguid MP for Banff and Buchan (Conservative); Liam Kerr MSP for North East (Conservative); Councillor Isobel Davidson, Ellon & District Ward, Aberdeenshire Council (Lib Dem); Richard Thomson MP for Gordon (SNP); Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of Port of Aberdeen; Mark Beveridge, Operations Director, at Aberdeen International Airport; Simon Brebner Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority.
Uniting to back the bid (left to right) Jon Matthews Group Head of Capital and Planning at Aberdeen International Airport; David Duguid MP for Banff and Buchan (Conservative); Liam Kerr MSP for North East (Conservative); Councillor Isobel Davidson, Ellon & District Ward, Aberdeenshire Council (Lib Dem); Richard Thomson MP for Gordon (SNP); Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of Port of Aberdeen; Mark Beveridge, Operations Director, at Aberdeen International Airport; Simon Brebner Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority.

As the consortium leading the ambitious plan submitted its vision to the UK and Scottish governments last week, MPs and MSPs pledged to campaign in the weeks ahead to ensure the region is first in line for the vital investment.

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.

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.

Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said: “The North East Scotland Green Freeport bid underlines the great economic boost that awaits the North East if successful.

“We have heard the potential for tens of thousands of jobs to emanate from this exciting project, into every corner of the region. Partners including Aberdeen International Airport have done a power of work to present a compelling, mature prospectus.

“Now that there is the political will recognising the many opportunities presented by freeports, it's time for both Scotland's governments to press on with taking advantage.”

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.