Great Yarmouth’s prime position to provide supply chain solutions for post-Brexit challenges is set to be discussed at a roundtable event later today.
Featuring local businesses and senior government ministers, and hosted at the Port of Great Yarmouth by Peel Ports, the debate will consider ways in which the public and private sectors can work better together to improve investment and job creation in the area, maximising potential benefits from changes in trade with the continent.
Around 20 guests from the political, shipping and business communities on the East Coast are attending the event, which will focus on the importance of giving ports greater autonomy and supporting economic growth.
Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, along with Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth and cabinet member, will take part in the discussion.
The agenda for the debate will also include the views of local businesses on how government can create a more pro-enterprise environment for trade.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss said: “Yarmouth and Lowestoft ports have the potential be the lifeblood of the local economy, and I have seen today the enormous ambition that business leaders have to improve trade links from these areas.
“After we leave the EU, we hope that these great ports will be able to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and realise their exports ambitions. Exporting is good for business, good for jobs and good for people working and living in the area.”
Peel Ports recently put forward a potential answer to congestion on the Dover Straits using the model of unaccompanied trailers for roll-on, roll-off services that is commonly used in the Irish Sea. The company believes that other creative solutions are available to overcome other uncertainties or concerns over continental trade post-Brexit.
Port Director Richard Goffin of Peel Ports added: “As well as our extensive capabilities supporting the offshore oil and gas sector, we have a long tradition as a general purpose port handling a wide variety of cargoes, from aggregates to wind turbines. We know that many of our customers are looking for new ways of operating to ensure they can continue to prosper post-Brexit. Our combination of location, facilities and customer-focussed approach gives us an excellent opportunity to help them put in place those new logistics models.”
Peel Ports, which owns and operates a number of ports around the UK and Ireland, has invested heavily in its infrastructure at Great Yarmouth in recent years.
The Government is also improving transport links in the region, vital for port access, by investing more than £3 billion on major road schemes in the East of England, including the £6.8 million Great Yarmouth link road which has eased congestion and helped to support offshore access.