The government has announced an investment of £30 million to ensure the UK’s ports “continue to thrive” after Brexit. Making the announcement Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the investment would ensure that trade continues to flow smoothly at UK ports after 31 October 2019.
The Department for Transport is calling on ports across England to bid for a share of £10 million, as part of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, to help deliver upgrades which will enhance capacity and maintain trade flow.
On top of this, the government is providing £5 million to 4 key Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) – made up of emergency responders, councils and other public services – in areas with key freight ports. This will help them build infrastructure improvements to minimise any potential traffic disruption at the border.
A further £15 million will go towards longer-term projects to boost road and rail links to ports and ensure more freight can get where it needs to be faster.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are leaving the on 31 October and we will be prepared whatever the circumstances.
“As the continues to develop as an outward-facing global trading nation ready for a post-Brexit world, the resilience of our trading hubs is more critical than ever before.
“This £30 million investment supports our ports in their work to boost capacity and efficiency, ensuring they’re ready for Brexit and a successful future.”
The funding comes as part of the government’s £2.1 billion investment to step-up the country’s preparations for leaving the EU.
The competition will be open until 6 September, after which successful bidders will be given up to £1 million each to deliver infrastructure improvements. For example, this may include providing more parking and container storage space or developing traffic systems to ensure the free flow of cars and lorries.
The £5 million is targeted specifically at delivering infrastructure improvements to manage road traffic around maritime ports with important trade routes.
It comes a week after the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced a separate £9 million scheme for local councils and to support their overall planning for Brexit in local areas and major air, land or sea ports. This funding could include supporting the hiring of additional staff or implementing regional communications campaigns.
The Department for Transport continues to prepare for all circumstances after 31 October and has been implementing a multi-channel information campaign to ensure hauliers have the documents they need to carry goods into the EU.