By Lucy Ashton

Sites at Cromarty Firth and the Forth have been selected to host Scotland’s first green freeports – but Clydeside has been overlooked.

The winning bids were revealed in a joint announcement by the UK and Scottish governments.

The special economic zones north of the border are being created under a scheme agreed by the two governments.

The successful applicants will be able to offer tax incentives and lower tariffs in the zones.

A total of five bids for green freeport status were submitted, with North East Scotland, Orkney and Clyde missing out.

Each had to set out how they would regenerate their area, create high-quality jobs and support transition to a net-zero economy.

Observers who hoped that the Exxon site at Bowling, which West Dunbartonshire Council has spent £6 million cleaning up for the oil giants, were disappointed that the Clyde was not included.

The Forth Green Freeport bid was led by Forth Ports, which owns and operates seven ports on the east coast of Scotland.

Forth Ports said the freeport had the potential to create up to 50,000 new, high-quality jobs in renewable energy, manufacturing, sustainable fuels and construction.

Its activities will focus on renewables, advanced manufacturing, alternative fuels, carbon capture utilisation and storage, shipbuilding, logistics and the creative industries.

The Opportunity Cromarty Firth consortium – backed by Port of Cromarty Firth, Global Energy Group, Highland Resources and Port of Inverness – said it could create 25,000 jobs.

The Inverness and Cromarty Firth bid aims to build a “world-beating” floating offshore wind manufacturing sector, with sites in the Cromarty Firth, Invergordon, Nigg and Inverness.

Top of page picture: The site of the former Exxon tank farm on Clydeside at Bowling.

One comment

  1. Ah the ideology of tax havens or no tax zones being a good thing.

    Someone once said that Freeports simply draw industry from the surrounding countryside and into the stockaded off Freeport.

    And Forth Ports, pray tell of their pedigree. Owned by Public Sector Investment Board ( or PSP Investments ) is a Canadian Corporation which invests for Canadian Pensioners.

    A real shame then that the once state assets are now all sold off and in the hands of foreign investment companies. Funny old world in fact.

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