The Plymouth and South Devon (PASD) Freeport September update

The Plymouth and South Devon (PASD) Freeport is the result of a successful bid submitted in February 2021, with an Outline Business Case (OBC) submitted in November 2021. The Freeport became officially active in May 2022 with Government approval of the OBC and the approval and designation of two Tax Sites (Sherford and Devonport South Yard). The final Tax Site designation for Langage east and south extension is expected in early October. These three key sites unlock 88.3 hectares of development land across Plymouth and South Hams.


The Full Business Case (FBC) has been received very well by Government assessors – ranking highly. Approval is expected early next month alongside authorisation of a primary Custom Sites Operator – PASD Freeport thereby being one of the first to get full approval and designation out of the 8 in the Government’s programme. This will then allow release of £25M of public seed capital matched with £29M of local authority investment – for core infrastructure, site assembly and preparation work. Furthermore, modelling figures submitted as part of the FBC shows that the Freeport has the potential to unlock £314 million in private sector inward investment and create 3,584 jobs.


Should a Levelling Up Funding bid submitted by Plymouth City Council recently be successful, the Freeport will benefit from transformational developments including the Innovation Centre at Oceansgate and the modernisation of the port infrastructure at Millbay. The outcome of this bid is expected in November.


The Freeport is now actively in the mobilisation phase. The required Plymouth and South Devon Ltd company has been set up with interim Chair, Adrian Bratt and interim CEO, Richard May in position. A national recruitment campaign for a permanent Chair, CEO and core team will begin early next month to coincide with the approval of the FBC, release of an interim brochure website and dedicated Plymouth and South Devon Freeport branding. A stakeholder event to celebrate the launch of the Freeport will be held in November.


Richard and the extended Freeport team continue to work closely with the Department of International Trade (DIT) to pitch the PASD Freeport to targets that fit the strategic plan for marine, defence and space sector advanced manufacturers and supply chain. Pipeline activity is looking positive.


If you would like to find out more about the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport please contact Richard May via