8th Apr 2024

Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport Tax Sites Established

The Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF) has today (Monday 8th April) welcomed the successful conclusion of the UK legislative process, confirming the establishment of Special Tax Sites, including at the Port of Nigg.

The legislation passed at Westminster, and the corresponding legislation in Holyrood, marks a critical milestone in the journey to establish a Green Freeport in the area. It means operators and businesses located at Nigg and those on the shores of the Cromarty Firth, in Inverness and at Ardersier, will be able to benefit from a package of tax benefits and other incentives.

ICFGF Chief Executive, Calum MacPherson, said:

“Today’s announcement is critical a milestone in the journey towards the establishment of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport. Coupled with the confirmation in last month’s Budget that tax site status has been extended from 5 to 10 years, it is fantastic news for the Highlands and Islands, Scotland, and the wider UK.

“Together, our Tax Sites, totalling around 520 hectares, amount to the largest green engineering development site in the UK. The incentives available will attract worldwide interest and help realise the region’s potential to become the largest European hub for the development of the offshore wind industry and associated renewable energy technologies.”

Facilities Director at the Port of Nigg, Rory Gunn, welcomed the announcement:

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of several years of hard work and collaboration by a broad range of public and private sector organisations, with a shared vision of creating a Green Freeport in the area. By achieving this goal, our region is now presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be at the forefront of Scotland’s just energy transition and realise its full potential.

“The strength of the ICFGF bid focused on our world-class port and harbour facilities, coupled with our unique geographic location which is at the centre of Scotland’s offshore renewable developments. Collectively these will be essential for our nation to achieve its net zero obligations and meet its energy security targets, while also bringing transformational benefits to the Highlands.

“The package of benefits available within the Green Freeport is specifically designed to attract inward investment, and thereby create high quality, long term local jobs, and we at the Port of Nigg look forward to the exciting journey ahead to achieve this vision.”

The Green Freeport’s Outline Business Case was approved by the Scottish and UK governments in April. The document set out the initiative’s potential to create more than 10,000 new jobs and attract over £3 billion of fresh investment. ICFGF is confident levels of job creation can go further still with broader initiatives connected with the growth of green energy in the area.

Whilst today means the tax benefits within the tax sites become live, a Final Business Case submission is still required and is currently being completed. This is expected to be presented to The Highland Council, as Accountable Body, in the coming weeks. It will then be submitted to the Scottish and UK Governments.

Moray West TPs and WTGs