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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Catherine Hunter

West Dunbartonshire leader to look for 'additional funding' after Freeport bid failure

The leader of West Dunbartonshire Council has reaffirmed the commitment of the Glasgow City Region to look for additional investment after its Green Freeport status bid was unsuccessful.

Partners responsible for the bid were disappointed not to have been chosen by the government to host one of the two new Green Freeports in Scotland, which were instead awarded to Inverness and Cromarty and Firth of Forth.

A green freeport is a large, “zoned area” within a defined boundary which includes a rail, sea or airport. Operators and businesses in the zone can benefit from a package of tax and other incentives.

READ MORE: West Dunbartonshire Council reaffirms commitment to tackling child abuse

Plans for Clyde Green Freeport had included Glasgow Airport, Peel Ports' Clydeport, Mossend International Railfreight Park in North Lanarkshire.

The Clyde Green Freeport would have maximised the area's transport network and facilities at Glasgow Airport, the freight interchange at Mossend, Bellshill and four deep-water ports on the River Clyde.

During the most recent West Dunbartonshire full council meeting, a motion was brought before members by councillor Craig Edwards which stated that the “council is deeply disappointed that the Clyde Green Freeport bid has lost out in the race to win freeport status”.

It asked the leader of the council, councillor Martin Rooney, to write to both governments to express West Dunbartonshire’s disappointment.

Instead, councillor Martin Rooney moved an amendment which read: “Despite being the strongest bid in terms of creating 30,000 new jobs, a bold decarbonisation plan to support net zero jobs and net zero targets and the wider economic benefits for major investment in the Glasgow City Region, our Green Freeport bid was unsuccessful.

“Council notes that the two new green freeports chosen by the UK and Scottish Government Ministers are Inverness and Cromarty and Firth of Forth.

“The chair of the Glasgow City Region and Leader of Glasgow City Council, councillor Susan Aitken, wrote to the deputy First Minister John Swinney and the UK levelling up secretary - Michael Gove to express disappointment and to question why this major investment is going entirely to one side of Scotland.

“Councillor Aitken argued that this not only bypasses the engine room of Scotland’s economy but also those communities where the need for levelling up is deeper and more acute than anywhere else in the UK.

“The city region cabinet will continue to work with the UK and Scottish Governments to bring additional investment into the Glasgow City Region which is the economic heart of Scotland.

Speaking on the motion, councillor Rooney said it would have been “too easy to moan about the unsuccessful bid”.

He added: “I want to look forward to the future, the plans for Mossend International Freight Part is still a good proposal and deserves to be explored further and it will be. The plans for Glasgow Airport and Peel Ports are also good proposals and we want these developments to be looked at in the future as well.

“We will be on the lookout for additional investment opportunities over the coming months and years.”


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