Media release: Ambitious bid for Clyde Green Freeport submitted by public-private partners

Clyde Green Freeport_3

AN ambitious proposal to create up to 30,000 new jobs, attract £2.5 billion of capital investment and transform nearly 600 hectares of vacant and derelict land in key locations for a new green freeport, has been unveiled.

The bid for Clyde Green Freeport would generate a multi-billion pound boost for the Glasgow City Region economy and accelerate regional, national and UK net zero targets.

The formal bid has been submitted to the Scottish and UK governments by a partnership of Glasgow Airport, Peel Ports’ Clydeport, Mossend International Railfreight Park in North Lanarkshire and Glasgow City Region councils.

The bid has already attracted support from many key businesses and organisations based or operating within Glasgow City Region – including Caterpillar, Malcolm Group, SP Energy Networks, the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, Morrison Construction and Loganair.

A green freeport is a large, zoned area within a defined boundary which includes a rail, sea or airport. Operators and businesses in the zone can benefit from a package of tax and other incentives.

“Our bid is multimodal, covering air, sea and rail, and will further unlock global trade, doubling capacity to take products from across Scotland to the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond,” said Kevin Rush, Clyde Green Freeport Bid senior responsible officer and director of Regional Economic Growth for Glasgow City Region.

“It will provide an £18 billion uplift in GVA to 2034. Vitally it will tackle the Region’s greatest economic challenges – increasing productivity and generating more inclusive growth. This will be achieved through fast-tracking our world-class innovation economy and creating tens of thousands of jobs in communities across the Region with high levels of deprivation. Almost 40 per cent of Scotland’s most deprived communities are within the Clyde Green Freeport area.

“With the biggest City Deal in the UK and the legacy of COP26, Glasgow City Region has a proven track record of delivery. As an economic powerhouse, with unrivalled connectivity across the UK and beyond, we have everything in place to deliver a globally successful green freeport for our region, our residents, businesses, Scotland and the UK.”

Key to the Clyde Green Freeport bid is a bold decarbonisation plan which would accelerate the Scottish and UK Governments’ net zero ambitions. The Clyde Green Freeport would achieve net zero by 2040, and would include a new district heating system; waste to energy projects; renewable energy generation and projects to roll out green fuel for air, rail, road and sea transport within industries that have been dominated by carbon – including a new £1 billion hydrogen plant which could fuel 25% of Scotland’s HGVs.

Details of the three modes are as follows:


The world’s first climate neutral airport cluster would be created at Glasgow Airport and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire through plans for a solar park, district heating network, electric vehicle fleet and a multi-fuel hub.

Clyde Green Freeport presents a fantastic opportunity to propel the Scottish aerospace sector towards a leading role in delivering ‘Jet Zero’ air travel decarbonisation and an increased share of the additional £39 billion and 150,000 jobs associated with it.

The 185-hectare cluster includes the airport and AMIDS and is an established employment, innovation and connectivity hub which will be boosted by the opening of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

It will be a focus for aerospace, advanced manufacturing and life sciences sectors – all of which are high-skill, high-value and export-orientated – complementing major existing businesses, including Boeing, Loganair, British Airways Maintenance, Thermo Fisher and Doosan Babcock.

A new state-of-the-art cargo facility will double cargo handling capacity, enabling the airport to increase the value of Scottish exports beyond the 25 per cent it currently handles and making a vital contribution to meeting the UK and Scottish targets of hitting £1 trillion in exports annually and growing the share of GDP generated by exports to 25 per cent, respectively.


Mossend in North Lanarkshire is home to a major rail freight hub and rail terminal. Clyde Green Freeport would see regeneration of 283 hectares of land through £17 million of investment unlocked by tax benefits and, in the longer term, £300 million to develop the site and create the infrastructure needed.

A new £44 million high capacity, decarbonised rail interchange would be developed with eight 775m rail sidings served by two electric gantry cranes, electric rail shunters, cross docking facilities and associated road and rail access infrastructure. In addition, there will be a net zero freight park consisting of 2.1 million square feet of manufacturing and logistics buildings and associated facilities.

This would meet the increasing demand for exports for all of Scotland and support modal shift from road to rail, saving 225,000 tonnes of carbon, annually.

It would also create an opportunity for a manufacturing heavy vehicles hub, leading to £120 million of investment and over 500 jobs, as well as for the manufacturing, maintenance and operation of new innovative freight wagons, with an estimated £55 million of investment.


Greenock deep ocean terminal would double its capacity, with more than £16 million of investment, to allow a modal shift from the 27,000 trucks which travel north to south annually as part of a bold port decarbonisation programme. This will unlock decarbonised global trade for businesses across Scotland and deliver the net zero target by 2040.

There will be investment in electric cranes and straddle carriers, new low carbon marine fuel bunkering capability to support green fleets, and low carbon heating using ground source and river source technologies.

And an enhanced logistics management system will improve efficiency in vehicle movement, saving fuel and time and improving air quality.

In Inverclyde regeneration of 85 hectares of land along the River Clyde, enabled by tax site benefits, would generate £36 million of new investment to upgrade, reclaim and regenerate land that would otherwise not be commercially viable.

Upgrading and replacing legacy infrastructure will generate a hub for direct sea access, for business including sea-food processing, expansion of onshore turbine operation in KGV, salt, cement and recycling facilities, and the drinks industry.

Ross Nimmo, Glasgow Airport’s head of Planning and Development, said: “The connectivity delivered by our airport plays a key role in supporting the country’s economy and exporting Scotland’s goods and services to the world.

“We are a carbon-neutral airport with a clear roadmap to achieving net zero carbon by the mid-2030s.

“The Clyde Green Freeport will be the catalyst for ensuring Scotland can balance the huge economic opportunities a successful bid would bring with our country’s climate change responsibilities.”    

Added Andrew Stirling, Peter D Stirling Ltd and Mossend International Railfreight Park director: “The new terminal at Mossend will be the first carbon free terminal in the UK, reducing the amount of HGVs coming through Scotland by 25 per cent, which will change logistics throughout Scotland and help considerably on the essential drive to net zero.

“The MIRP terminal, at capacity, will save 225,000 tonnes of carbon annually, which is two-thirds of the Scottish Government’s present carbon reduction target.”

James McSporran, port director at Peel Ports’ Clydeport, said: “With its origins on the Clyde going back to 1858 initially as Clyde Navigation trust, Clydeport has been a mainstay of supporting industry by importing and exporting goods growing to one million tonnes of cargo from its KGV facility to 60,000 containers moving through Greenock.

“It remains a significant player in the development of the Clyde industrial growth and is central to the Clyde Green Freeport bid initiative, providing not only the means to service the local markets but to allow a global reach through in house connectivity to other UK ports such as Liverpool and Medway.”

Businesses across Glasgow City Region are asked to back the bid and support the ambitious Clyde Green Freeport proposals.

Visit and follow social media to show your support: LinkedIn clyde-green-freeport; Twitter @ClydeGreenFP; Facebook and Instagram @clydegreenfreeport.


Notes for editors:

Glasgow City Region is the fourth-largest city region in the UK and an economic powerhouse. Unrivalled in Scotland, Glasgow City Region is host to the country’s largest population and business base and is a key engine of the nation’s economic growth, with a GVA of £47.3 billion.

The Region has transformed over the past 20 years, emerging from an industrial past and the birthplace of the industrial revolution, to a City Region of innovation and new industry.

The Region is leading on one of the largest and the most advanced of all UK City Deals, with over £1 billion in funding from the UK and the Scottish Governments. The eight partner councils, representing a population of 1.8 million, are Glasgow City Council, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

Almost 40 per cent of Scotland’s most deprived communities are within the Clyde Green Freeport area. A new Regional Skill Strategy will ensure that these communities are supported to access the new job opportunities emerging from Clyde Green Freeport.

The councils within Glasgow City Region where a Green Freeport site will be located will Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire.

Located in North Lanarkshire, Mossend International Railfreight Park will be Scotland’s largest multi-modal rail freight park. Championing zero-carbon logistics, it has 2.2 million square feet of low carbon logistics space designed to support businesses, Scotland and the UK’s green legacy. The space will consist of an electrified rail freight terminal and a manufacturing and warehouse area that will facilitate access to zero-carbon supply chain logistics.

Peel Ports’ Clydeport is the second largest port group in the UK, handling over 70 million tonnes of cargo from across the globe each year. Clydeport is the controlling port authority for 450 square miles of the River Clyde, storing and processing over 15.4 million tonnes of cargo annually. Our first-class facilities allow us to improve efficiencies in the supply chain via some of the most strategic locations on the West Coast of Scotland.

Glasgow Airport supports over 30,000 jobs and £1.44 billion of economic activity across Scotland. This includes 5,300 people employed directly on-site. Around 400 companies employ over 15,000 people with a couple of miles of Glasgow Airport. These include British Airways, Thermo Fisher, Boeing and Rolls Royce. Glasgow Airport handles nearly 25% of Scotland’s exports by value – high-tech medical equipment, fresh seafood, whisky and other Scottish produce – which goes out in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft.

Glasgow Airport is owned by AGS Airports Limited, a partnership between Ferrovial and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) established in 2014 to invest in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports. Over 20 airlines serve more than 120 destinations worldwide, including North America, Europe and the Gulf.


Glasgow City Region

Colette Keaveny, communication and marketing manager. Telephone: 0778 903 2689 Email:

Peel Ports’ Clydeport

Fraser Houston, head of Sales. Telephone: 07769 885944 Email:

Mossend International Railfreight Park

Georgia Tiernan, communications executive, GRM Marketing. Telephone: +44 (0) 7960657317 Email:

AGS Airports’ Glasgow Airport

Peter Carroll, communications and public affairs manager. Telephone: 07950531199 Email:

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