Issue - decisions

13/04/2022 - Plymouth and South Devon Freeport



(a) that the work undertaken by the partners towards government’s approval of the Outline Business Case and towards the Full Business Case, due for submission to government on 22nd April 2022, be noted;


(b) that it also be noted that the Freeport designation ensures 25 years of retained business rates for the participating authorities, for the designated sites;


(c) that the Council borrows up to £15 million of capital investment to leverage the Government’s seed capital funding of £9.6 million to deliver transport schemes, to support the development of the Freeport sites in Devon and that this borrowing will be repaid from retained business rates in future years;


(d) that the Council becomes a founder member of a company limited by guarantee to operate the Freeport, alongside South Hams District Council (SHDC) and Plymouth City Council (PCC) and that the appointment, in due course, of a Member of Devon County Council to serve as a director of the company, following the completion of steps required to effect such appointment also be approved;


(e) that the Head of Service for Economy Enterprise and Skills, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, portfolio holder for Economic Recovery and Skills and the Director of Finance and Head of Legal and Democratic Services be given delegated authority to:


i.              approve and submit the Final Business Case (FBC) for the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport;


ii.            approve the articles of association and reserved matters for the Freeport company and enter into member agreements for the company between SHDC, PCC and DCC;


iii.           enter into the business rates sharing agreement with South Hams District Council; and


iv.           approve the Freeport Business Rates Policy, which with the business rates sharing agreement defines the basis for loan repayments and distribution of any surplus achieved, which will include contributions to ongoing running costs of the Freeport company and other activities which aim to avoid Business Rate displacement.


(f) that Cabinet note appropriate scrutiny arrangements will be put into place in conjunction with SHDC and PCC regarding the operation of the Freeport.