Ruth Edwards joined other Conservative MPs from across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire as well as local enterprise partnerships to lobby the Chief Secretary to the Treasury for a Freeport in the East Midlands which would bring huge investment and many thousands of jobs to the region.
The group held a virtual meeting with Stephen Barclay MP, who has ministerial responsibility for freeports, and pressed the case for a new site to be based at East Midlands Airport. The plans would see the airport connected to the East Midlands Gatework rail logistics hub, combined with an advanced manufacturing cluster at the Uniper site at Ratcliffe-on-Soar in Rushcliffe.
The purpose of the Freeport is to promote economic growth within the East Midlands by improving export potential and connectivity to the rest of the country and beyond. The East Midlands Freeport bid is an opportunity to develop a freeport in the centre of the country which will allow industry to connect with a leading freight airport and rail freight hub. It would give exporters in the East Midlands direct, fast access to the country’s main deep-sea ports, as well as being located at the centre of the national motorway network.
With a focus on green technology and innovation, the bid would put the East Midlands at the heart of an industrial and exporting strategy which will boost economic recovery after COVID-19.
Commenting on the bid, Ruth Edwards said:
"The East Midlands is in the centre of the country and is strategically placed to be the beating heart of the UK’s recovery post Covid-19. We not only have the second largest freight airport in the country but we also have great potential with our rail and road connectivity.
This site is a fantastic location for a freeport as it connects to 90% of the UK's population within 4 hours. It is perfectly placed in the middle of the country to connect with other sites and become a regional centre for innovation and job creation.
It also allows us to focus our recovery on innovative and green technologies welcoming businesses in the green economy which will help the UK meet its net zero target.
I was delighted to see Conservative MPs from three counties working together on this bid and driving it forward. My thanks to D2N2 and LLEP Local Enterprise Partnerships for putting together a robust case we could take to the Treasury.”