In an opinion piece published on Plymouth Live, Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer has extolled the virtues of the city’s Freeport status – you can read his article here.

Mr Mercer is MP for Plymouth Moor View and has visited Sherford Skills Centre a number of times in his role as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is one of eight new Freeports designated by the Government, and it includes part of Sherford Business Park. The Government has committed £25m and the local authorities have pledged £29m to the new initiative.

Mr Mercer writes that the creation of the Freeport in Plymouth will “translate into £250m in private sector investment and more than 3,500 jobs – delivering a step change for our city’s local economy.”

He adds that “we are already seeing the benefits of the freeport to Plymouth”, with defence companies securing major MoD contracts, investment earmarked for Millbay Docks, expansion plans announced by Princess Yachts, and a green hydrogen generation plant in the pipeline.

The intention of Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is to supercharge the South West economy, specifically by building on the region’s unique national capabilities in marine, defence and space to form globally impactful clusters and a UK Innovation Superpower.

The Freeport will attract new investment, provide supply chain opportunities, and drive a productive economy by upskilling the local workforce for high quality futureproof jobs.