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The Celtic Freeport private-public sector partnership is led by Associated British Ports (ABP), Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven.


The Freeport also includes renewables developers, energy companies, industrial complexes, innovation assets, academic institutions and education providers.

13 May 2024

Retained Business Rates in the Celtic Freeport will Fuel Regional Investment in Skills


A new regional re-investment opportunity is emerging within the Celtic Freeport, with local authorities, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire Councils, able to retain business rates generated by companies operating within the Freeport.

Traditionally, taxes collected from businesses typically flow upwards to central government, with funds redistributed through various national programs. However, the Freeport model flips this process, allowing Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire to address specific local needs promptly and effectively without waiting for broader, national funding.

The councils’ plan to channel these funds into critical areas such as skills development, new educational facilities, and essential infrastructure marks a proactive approach to regional economic development.

By retaining and reinvesting business rates, local authorities can ensure the benefits of new emerging industries within the freeport are felt strongly on the ground. This will help to build stronger, more engaged communities, ensuring that the workforce evolves organically in partnership with industry.

Business rate retention also provides a blueprint for supporting sustainable regional development, setting the stage for driving regional growth from within and ensuring that local communities feel the maximum benefits of developments such as FLOW in the Celtic Sea.


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