In a bid to encourage economic growth and level up regions across the UK, the government has committed to establishing at least eight freeports. Southampton is one of those regions that stands to attract investment, with the promise of more than 32,000 new jobs in the Solent area. As well as job creation, customs relief and infrastructure investment, the Solent Freeport will make Southampton a hotbed of innovation in maritime, autonomy and green growth. 

But what effect is this having on the real estate sector and the UK logistics market? The exponential growth of online retail off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit led to a surge in demand for warehouse space in the UK. Traditionally, this has been in the ‘logistics golden triangle’ of Nottingham, Kidderminster and Bedford, but with one of the key benefits of freeports being tax-free storage, additional warehouse space in the coastal regions is likely to be a welcome addition for the sector. Or are we just displacing businesses from one UK location to another? 

In this EG Cities Live podcast, we will discuss how the UK can ensure the benefits of freeports are not just felt by the logistics sector, but a whole range of businesses. We will explore how the public and private sector can work together to ensure freeports meaningfully increase UK trade opportunities, and how Southampton can make the most of this opportunity.


Gavin Hall

Head of office and head of department, central south planning, Savills

Nella Pang

Managing Director, Omega-Re

Patrick Freestone

Deputy fund manager, Fiera Real Estate Logistics Development Fund

Stuart Irvine

Senior director, Turley

Tom White

Ecosystem director, maritime & ports, Connected Places Catapult

Samantha McClary

Editor, EG

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