New East Midlands Freeport will help unlock Leicester’s economic potential

The University of Leicester has today welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement that East Midlands Airport is to become one of the UK’s new Freeport sites.

The new Freeport will play an important role in supporting local businesses through generous tax reliefs, customs benefits and wider government support, whilst bringing in essential investment, trade and jobs to the region – including within Leicester and Leicestershire.

In addition, the new development could present important opportunities in collaboration with the new Space Park Leicester site, which is due to open in summer 2021.

Responding to the announcement, Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester said:

“This is fantastic news for Leicester and the East Midlands region. The new Freeport will play an important role in supporting local businesses, enterprise and the economic growth of the region, whilst making a vital contribution to the Government’s levelling up agenda.

“We look forward to the new developments and will be keen to work in partnership and share our research expertise to contribute to the success of the initiative.”

East Midlands Airport has been named as one of England’s eight new Freeports, alongside Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber region, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.

It is expected that the new Freeport will support the East Midlands region’s recovery. Based in the heart of the region across three sites at the East Midlands Airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster (EMAGIC) in North West Leicestershire, the new Freeport will create a global hub for international trade and investment.