Please advise if the 2 ports granted Green Port Status were supported by the Scottish Government and ministers and at the top of their list. Were any other ports supported by the Scottish Government and ministers
As detailed in sections 5.2 and Section 5.3 of the Green Freeports Bidding Prospectus (published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/green-freeports-in-scotland-bidding-prospectus/green-freeports-in-scotland-bidding-prospectus-delivered-in-partnership-by-the-scottish-government-and-the-uk-government), applicants were required to provide the information requested so Scottish and UK governments could fairly and effectively assess all applications. They were asked to provide one application per proposed Green Freeport, with information in response to three sets of questions:
- applicant information set out in Section 5.6;
- essential gateway criteria information, set out in Section 5.7 – this is the minimum information necessary to adequately define the extent of the Green Freeport;
- detailed application information, set out in Section 5.8 – this covers the proposals for the implementation and delivery of the Green Freeport.
The essential gateway information was subject to a pass/fail assessment and where an applicant’s response provided all the information detailed at Section 5.7 of the Green Freeports Bidding Prospectus to a satisfactory level. An assessment was then undertaken of the information detailed at Section 5.8 of the Green Freeports Bidding Prospectus.
5.2.4 Applicants were assessed against each of the 6 criteria:
- ability to deliver the objective “Promote regeneration and high-quality job creation”;
- ability to deliver the objective “Promote decarbonisation and a just transition to a net zero economy”;
- ability to deliver the objective “Establishing hubs for global trade and investment”;
- ability to deliver the objective “Fostering an innovative environment”;
- deliverability of proposal effectively at pace;
- level of private sector involvement in the proposal.
An appointable list was drawn up of bids that ministers could select the successful bids from. This included the score each bid had achieved under each of the six criteria detailed above. The appointable list was not ranked.
To be on the appointable list, bids were required to achieve, at a minimum, all of the below:
- at least a “high” on government’s lead criterion, “Promote regeneration and high quality job creation” and a medium on the “Promote decarbonisation and a just transition to a net zero economy” criteria;
- no more than two “lows” across the six criteria.
Selection of the successful Green Freeports was a joint decision-making process between Scottish and UK government ministers. Ministers met to discuss the selection of successful applicants from the appointable list based on the assessment against the six criteria set out above. In addition to the assessment criteria at 5.7 and 5.8, ministers could also factor into their decision-making context-sensitive information that impacts upon the objectives of the Green Freeport policy. These factors were limited to:
- context which may change:
i. accounting for changing regional economic trends in light of Covid-19
ii. aligning with future publications such as the National Planning Framework 4
iii. aligning with subsequent Scottish and UK government investments made since March 2022
- context ministers could only account for once all proposals were received:
i. reserving the right to select multiple nationally exceptional proposals from the same Regional Economic Partnership (see paragraph 4.3.11)
ii. prioritising proposals with a “high” assessment for the decarbonisation criterion when choosing between similar appointable applications
iii. reserving the right to select exceptional proposals without existing customs infrastructure or with overly expansive plans (e.g. sites beyond the Outer Boundary limit)
iv. reserving the right to ensure a fair spread across Scotland
The Scottish and UK governments will publish the rationale behind their selection according to the process laid out in the Green Freeports Bidding Prospectus shortly. Therefor, this is a formal notice that an exemption of FOISA applies. Further information on this exemption can be found in the Annex of this letter.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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