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Calls to Super-Charge Enterprise Zones Ready for a Post-Brexit Business Environment

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Alec Don, Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven, calls for the establishment of super-charged enterprise zones in readiness for a post-Brexit business environment.

 

“We see first-hand the importance of clusters in driving industrial growth. The Port of Milford Haven is Wales’ largest port and the UK’s largest energy port. It is home to the UK’s largest single cluster of energy related businesses, handling or processing approximately 20% of Britain’s energy requirements and supporting 5,000 Welsh jobs. It is expanding its industry base to include the renewables sectors, particularly wave, tidal and floating wind, but is also home to tourism and leisure, ship building and fishing industries.

All these industries could dramatically benefit from post-Brexit opportunities but they need the right support. Ports are a nexus of transport connections where manufacturers want to be located and where value added occurs. The significant economic clusters that have built up around many of the UK’s ports have done so because of ports’ natural capital such as access to deep water or a sheltered harbour, allowing multi-national and regional businesses to thrive and driven economic growth. Providing the right policy, regulatory and fiscal conditions for these clusters to evolve and grow relatively unfettered is crucial to the success of the British economy.

We want to see major economic centres such as ports and airports prioritised as economic zones. Within these super-charged zones, trade and industrial activity could be incentivised by a favourable development, planning and trading regime. When opportunities to secure some inward, or indeed locally generated investment, arise we will need to be internationally competitive in terms of how fast we can move to capture the investment, reducing the risks for the investors and the operators alike. Our Research and Development processes need to be made more productive, in exactly the same way as our manufacturing and services sectors need to become more productive.

Change is upon us. We must embrace these new opportunities and ensure the UK continues to grow as a leading industrial nation with strong manufacturing and processing outputs. We believe that turning our ports and airport into super-charged economic zones will deliver the right conditions for maximum long term, stable growth”.

To find out more, email the Port of Milford Haven on [email protected].

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The Port of Milford Haven is the UK’s top energy port and Wales’ busiest port handling around 20% of Britain’s seaborne trade in oil and gas. It is widely recognised in the industry as the energy capital of the UK.

The Port, along with the cluster of energy-related businesses along the Waterway, is a key driver of economic activity in Pembrokeshire, attracting inward investment and supporting over 4,000 jobs.

The Port of Milford Haven also owns and operates Pembroke Port and Milford Dock. Activities such as cargo handling, ferry operations, fish landing and cruise calls as well as a first class marina are spread across these two sites.

One of the most prominent on the West Coast, the Port is in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only Coastal National Park in Great Britain. It is marked as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and has many areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Port of Milford Haven is a trust port – an independent, commercially run organisation that has statutory responsibilities governed by its Acts, to maintain and improve navigation and the provision of Port and Harbour services and facilities. Additionally, the Port provides significant financial and in-kind support to a wide variety of local causes. All profits are retained within the business to fund these objectives.

 

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