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Freeports: What’s next for the government’s flagship idea

Event date: October 26, 2022

The government’s plans for freeports are set to create national hubs for global trade and investment, hotbeds for innovation and an opportunity to level up communities around the UK.

Freeports include a comprehensive package of measures, comprising tax relief, customs, business rates retention, planning, regeneration, innovation and trade and investment support. Successful freeport bidders are now creating business cases, with formal designation expected later in 2022.

How best can we communicate freeports to communities and stakeholders post-designation in a way that most closely aligns with public aspirations?

Given that freeports are much more than hard infrastructure, how can we ensure when designations are confirmed that we build momentum and address barriers to delivery created by a lack of awareness and understanding?

Join us as we speak to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), alongside industry experts, to explore the topic in more detail.


Gabriel Bernard-Harding – Deputy Head of Freeports at the DLUHC

Gabriel joined the DLUHC in 2020 to work on the UK Freeports Programme. As deputy head of freeports, he leads the UK government’s work on setting the policy parameters as they move into delivery, as well as supporting and incentivising freeports to achieve the programme’s objectives of levelling up the country’s most deprived communities. Gabriel is also responsible for ensuring that domestic and international best practice for special economic zones is observed.

Ibrahim Mohamed – Associate Director of Freeports at Connected Places Catapult

Ibrahim is Associate Director of Freeports at Connected Places Catapult. Since 2017, he has served as an adviser at the Department for International Trade, focusing on infrastructure investments and freeports.

Sonal Shah – Partner at Pinsent Masons LLP

Sonal is a partner at Pinsent Masons. She joined the company in 2003 and specialises in public private partnership (PPP) transactions, concessions and other large infrastructure projects and focuses particularly on transport and defence projects.

Event details:

Wednesday, 26 October 11:00 - BST Register for your free place

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