GB£200m Brexit port infrastructure fund – portstrategy.com

The funding is targeted at those ports that have the space to build new border infrastructure on their current sites. Photo: Port of Dover

Industry Database

A GBGBP200m port infrastructure fund has been launched by the UK government for ports to build new border facilities as the Brexit transition period end draws closer. The scheme will provide up to GBGBP200m funding in one-off grants to ports and is targeted at those ports that have the space to build new border infrastructure on their current sites so that they are ready to handle new customs requirements under the new border operating model.

The funding can be used for a range of vital port infrastructure - from warehouses and control posts to traffic management systems. Tim Morris, CEO of UK Major Ports Group, commented: "There is significant port capacity around the coast of the UK for handling freight flows to and from the EU. Today's announcement is a welcome step in ensuring that this capacity can be maximised and UK supply chains can be more resilient.

"Time is short and it is vital that UK businesses prepare for new border arrangements. We will work urgently with the Government on the all-important detail and related regulations." Support is essential

Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association (BPA), said: "We welcome this fund and the focus on preparing port infrastructure for what will need accommodate a significant change in our trading relationship with the EU. It's clear that without support there would not be the capacity to deal the new customs and borders requirements. We therefore welcome this scheme which importantly will be open to all port operators across Great Britain.

"The clock is definitely ticking and a lot of work still needs to be done but this will help overcome a significant hurdle. We will continue to work with government to help shape a border strategy that works for the UK's freight sector." The BPA noted that while the fund is open to all types of ports it is expected that Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) operators will have the most interest in applying to use this scheme.

It explained this sector has the most to do to adapt to new requirements which will come into existence when the EU completes the Brexit transition period. Where infrastrastructure is not best situated at ports, the government has allocated an additional GBGBP270m to build inland customs facilities. The deadline for applications is midday on 30 October, with successful bids announced shortly after.

The UK has taken the decision to introduce new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021.

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