The UK and Scottish governments have made plans to develop two green freeports in Inverness, Cromarty Firth, and Firth of Forth. The projects are anticipated to generate up to £52 million in funding from the UK government, as well as approximately £10.8 billion in new private and public investment and more than 75,000 new skilled jobs.
Early this year, consortiums began submitting bids for a piece of the funding for the projects. The Scottish and UK governments jointly announced the winning bids. The governments selected Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport as the successful bids following a joint evaluation process. Over the next few years, each project will receive funding of up to £26 million, primarily to fill infrastructure gaps.
The green freeports under construction in Scotland
The Forth Green Freeport anticipates attracting up to £6 billion in investments and plans to reach net zero by 2045. Storage and shipbuilding, the production of renewable energy sources, alternative fuels, and the use of carbon capture will be the main topics. 50,000 jobs are projected to be generated by the freeport. Along with Edinburgh Airport and a site at Burntisland, the Forth site also includes the ports at Grangemouth, Rosyth, and Leith.
The Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, meanwhile, is projected to bring in about £4.8 billion for the area. The project will focus on nuclear, hydrogen, and floating offshore wind. It will accelerate the transition to net zero by 2045. Along with the Inverness Airport site, it will also include the ports of Inverness, Cromarty Firth, and Nigg.
Additionally, there are plans to deliver innovation and skills support as part of the Inverness Campus and Powerhouse expansion. The green freeport projects are anticipated to be operational in late 2023.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated: “Working together delivers results. I am extremely pleased that the First Minister and I can unveil the delivery of our shared ambition. This will greatly benefit the people in Scotland today, with not one but two excellent Green Freeport areas.