• 25 Jun 2024
  • Online

National freeport opportunities 101

Join the discussion with representatives of freeports around the UK to learn more about trading opportunities.

The Government’s Freeport programme is a major opportunity for the UK economy. Over the last few years, UK businesses have faced a range of domestic and international challenges, in particular Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. The Freeport strategy can help the UK economy strengthen its global trading position whilst developing new international relationships.

Being in such varied locations across the UK, they serve as important gateways into European and global markets. There are several benefits including tax concessions and infrastructure incentives. But also, as custom free zones, they will help to boost redevelopment and government support to promote regeneration and innovation. Substantial regional growth will create many opportunities for directors to grow their businesses.

This webinar, hosted by Alistair Elder, IoD Trade Advisory Group and co-Chair Governance and Policy Group, will bring key stakeholders together to discuss the Freeport strategy and how it can benefit you. We have an exciting range of speakers from across the UK who will discuss what this means for business, how to access support, HMRC advice including funding and what can be done to enhance skills to build the workforce needed.

Joining links will be sent out approximately 24 hours before the webinar; alternatively, use the link in your booking confirmation email to complete pre-registration and receive your unique code.


Alistair Elder

Alistair has over 30 years’ trade, economic development, strategy, and diplomacy experience across many markets, including the EU, Middle East, Africa, and Indo-Pacific. After leaving Government, Alistair has been working in both FTSE 100 Multinational Corporations and SMEs, holding several Executive Director and Senior Management positions. He has provided board advisory to MNCs, SMEs, Investors, Governments and trade bodies. Alistair is a member of the IoD’s National Expert Advisory Group on Trade.

Callum MacPherson, CEO at Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport

Prior to joining the Inverness & Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, Calum was with Robertson Group, laterally in a UK-wide role leading the Capital Project business. He has also previously worked with Highlands & Islands Enterprise in a number of roles including Area Manager for the Moray region where he led a range of business, infrastructure and community development initiatives.

James Hassett, Chief Executive Solent Freeport

James Hassett joined the Solent Freeport as its first Chief Executive in June 2023. James has over 25 years’ experience leading organisations across a range of industries include in the Engineering Sector, Environmental Sector and Public Sector. His background and skills are in sustainable development, regeneration and economic development.

Simon Green, Chief Executive, Humber Freeport

Simon brings over 30 years' experience within the field of development and corporate governance to the Humber Freeport. He has worked for both public and private sector organisations throughout the midlands, the north and abroad and has overseen major projects including mixed use, housing, transport, energy and higher education.

More recently he has taken on corporate culture and governance roles and throughout his career has striven to build alignment and partnership working as the bedrock of achievement.

Simon Reid, Assistant Director for Business Growth, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Simon worked in government funded training before 13 years in recruitment. Simon joined The Mersey Partnership (TMP) in 2010 as an Investor Development Manager working with foreign owned companies in the Liverpool City Region to attract additional investment and internationally mobile projects. Simon then joined Peel Ports as the Commercial Manager for bulk liquid products for the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal. In 2014 Simon joined the Liverpool LEP to head up Advanced Manufacturing before being appointed Head of Sectors in November 2020 before transitioning to the Combined Authority in his current role with responsibility for business support, trade and investment, cluster development, Freeport and Investment Zone in April 2024.

Steve Beel, Chief Executive at Freeport East

Freeport East aspires to be the UK’s leading Centre for global trade, green energy, innovation and digital technology. Steve has over 20 years’ experience across energy & infrastructure, international diplomacy, economic development & trade. As well as spending time working as a British Diplomat in southern Africa, he has also worked at Ofgem, Hutchison Whampoa and PwC with a focus on developing, financing and implementing large infrastructure and economic development schemes.

Steve Edwards, Commercial Director Port of Milford Haven, Wales

Steve is a Fellow and Past President of IGEM and was the Chair of the Energy Networks Association Regulation Group and has strong links with regulators, CBI Wales and Welsh Government. He is on the Executive Council of the UK Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies and a Board Member of Warm Wales. Steve is also the current chair of CBI Wales Net Zero group and the Haven Energy Cluster. He also played a key role in the successful Celtic Freeport bid and is now working with partners on the Final Business Case submission.

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