Freeport “will be huge for Loughborough” says local MP
Loughborough’s MP, Jane Hunt, has welcomed news this week that the East Midlands will be the location of an ambitious new freeport which will see millions of pounds of investment and the creation of thousands of new jobs. The announcement was made at the Budget by the Chancellor following intense lobbying by Jane and her fellow East Midlands MPs.
Whilst the impact of the freeport will be immense for the region, it is of particular importance for Loughborough. Not only will the impact be seen in the basic mechanics of what a freeport does – to act as a customs hub for imports and exports – but it will act as a magnet for inward investment and business expansion. Jobs and growth will be focused in the M1 corridor in and around the actual freeport site at East Midlands Airport, but it will also attract new businesses to the Loughborough area, seeking to reap the benefits of being situated close to a freeport where raw materials arrive whilst moving to sites ready to go at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park and Charnwood Campus.
Whilst Loughborough offers the physical infrastructure required for incoming businesses; it also offers the educational expertise required to provide a skilled local workforce ready to take up the new employment opportunities created by the freeport. Loughborough University already delivers degree and above level skills that support business start-up and expansion, often through research and development of spin-off businesses from research already undertaken at the University. Loughborough College with their new T Level Centre and their already thriving apprenticeship scheme will provide tailored skills and qualifications to meet the needs of local businesses. Working together, they will deliver the employees needed to meet the business demand.
Commenting shortly after the announcement, Jane Said:
“This will be huge for Loughborough! The freeport site will be located at East Midlands Airport and our area is set to benefit from the investment that it will bring. We are already home to a flourishing life-sciences sector and the education powerhouses of Loughborough College and University.
“I and my colleagues have long argued that our region is perfectly placed to deliver high quality employment opportunities and an ideal location for an inland customs hub for imports and exports. I am delighted that the Government has responded to our campaign for a freeport in the region.”