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Holyhead Freeport Bid to Bring Economic Boost to North Wales

holyhead-port

Featured December 12, 2022 Author, admin

It’s no secret to those on the island that Brexit and the pandemic led to some serious economic issues for Holyhead and Anglesey more generally – with 2021 figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office (released in January this year) showing a decline in trade from Dublin to Holyhead and Liverpool of 19% compared to 2020.

While the island has experienced something of a tourism boom – as Covid inspired staycations led to more attention for the island. Anglesey’s deserved reputation as an area of outstanding natural beauty is only a part of life on the island, and the chance of counteracting some of the damage of the last few years to the Holyhead port is to be cautiously welcomed.

One half of the bid, Stena Line, released the following statement as the bid was unveiled:

Stena Line is determined to see a transformation in investment and economic activity for the Anglesey community. We have been part of this community for over 27 years and want to see this bid succeed. We know it can bring in transformational investment, drive innovation and create high-skilled, high-wage, high-value jobs. It can cement the region as a hub of global trading excellence.

The freeport has many different elements. As well as manufacturing hub it can become a world leader in blue innovation, help the realise the successful vision of the Energy Island Programme and we want to see the establishment of World Customs Academy on the Ynys Môn.

 
The sea has been a source of many of the island’s greatest periods, so it would be a welcome addition to the areas maritime history if such a development led to the many benefits outlined in the communications coming from the bid partners. Councillor Carwyn Jones, Deputy Leader of the Council was quoted this week as saying:

A freeport would be a key pillar in creating long term, sustainable economic development on the Island and across the Region. Too many of our people, particularly our young people, feel they need to leave the Island to get decent jobs and a secure future. We want that to change, and it can.

 
While such a development will likely increase the demand (and the need) for a third crossing – especially in the wake of the recent Menai Suspension Bridge closure – the benefits described in recent announcements would likely prove welcome if fulfilled.

You can register your support for the project on its dedicated website where you can also find out more about it. The government will issue its response to the bid in Spring of 2023.

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