Scottish and UK governments urged to back North-east Green Freeport bid

Up to 30,000 high-quality jobs will be created in the North East of Scotland under ground-breaking plans to transform the region into the ‘Net Zero Capital of Europe’.

By Morag Kuc
Friday, 10th June 2022, 8:40 am
Pictured (left to right) are Simon Brebner, Peterhead Port Authority, Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive, Port of Aberdeen and Jon Matthews, Group Head of Capital and Planning overlooking the £400 million Aberdeen South Harbour development at the announcement of the North East Scotland Green Freeport bid.
Pictured (left to right) are Simon Brebner, Peterhead Port Authority, Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive, Port of Aberdeen and Jon Matthews, Group Head of Capital and Planning overlooking the £400 million Aberdeen South Harbour development at the announcement of the North East Scotland Green Freeport bid.

On Friday, a major regional alliance announced its formal bid for Green Freeport status which will boost GVA by £7.5 billion over the next decade and usher in a new era of investment, innovation, regional regeneration and opportunities for those that need them most.

North East Scotland Green Freeport is a consortium comprising Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Port of Aberdeen, Peterhead Port Authority and Aberdeen International Airport.

The region is focused on becoming the global epicentre of the energy transition to lead the world in creating carbon-free energy and the technology needed to achieve Net Zero.

The announcement follows a recent visit to Aberdeen by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during which she highlighted the Scottish Government’s commitment to reposition the region as the ‘Net Zero Capital of Europe’ and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s pledge to boost Scotland’s transformation as a ‘green energy hub’ and deliver the UK Government’s commitments on Net Zero.

North East Scotland Green Freeport will make these commitments a reality. It 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.

Senior representatives of the collaborative consortium were joined by North East business leaders at the new Aberdeen South Harbour, which will play a key role in unlocking the massive offshore wind opportunity, to issue a direct call to both the Scottish Government and UK Government to back the region’s bid.

Councillor Mark Findlater, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “I fully support the proposed North East Scotland Green Freeport. In Aberdeenshire, Green Freeport status would accelerate the development of Scotland’s only carbon capture cluster, Acorn at St Fergus, and contribute to the decarbonisation of Scotland and Europe.

"A successful bid has the potential to create thousands of high-quality jobs for our communities in this North East corner of Scotland.”

Simon Brebner, Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority, added: “A successful bid will have a transformative effect on the Peterhead area, accelerating the push towards Net Zero through carbon capture and storage and creating thousands of jobs as well as dovetailing with vital decarbonisation work across the region."