16 ports secure GB$10m Brexit funding

Port of Liverpool The Port of Liverpool is one of 16 ports that will receive PIRC funding. Credit: Peel Ports

Sixteen ports across England will receive a share of GB£10m to help their preparations for when the UK leaves the EU, however a port body has said more funding might be needed for a no-deal Brexit.

Dover, Felixstowe and Liverpool were among ports successful in bidding for funding from the Department of Transport’s (DfT) Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, which offers ports up to GB£1m each to deliver infrastructure upgrades.

The British Ports Association’s chief executive, Richard Ballantyne, said: “We welcome the funding but note that some English ports have missed out as well as those in other parts of the UK.

“Also we have asked the Government for funding for UK Border Force infrastructure, facilities and personnel for new customs checks, preferentially away from the border, at a range of port routes and hope this might follow as well as a replacement schemes such as the EU’s TEN-T and fisheries funds.”

The BPA has maintained that a Brexit deal was the best way to avoid potential disruptions at the border and Mr Richard Ballantyne added that “it is clear that much of the focus recently has been about mitigating disruption at certain ports, not avoiding it”.

Funded ports

Aside from Dover, Felixstowe and Liverpool, ports that will receive funding include Harwich,  Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Poole, Newhaven, Immingham, Hull, Teesport, Heysham, Bristol, Sheerness and London Gateway.

Tim Morris, CEO of the UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG), added that that the projects the grants will fund “are not a silver bullet for potential Brexit disruption but are the latest stage of preparations that have been underway for some time”.

The PIRC fund is part of a GB£30m government scheme, announced last month, to help ports run efficiently post-Brexit.

GB£5m will be provided for four key Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) - made up of emergency responders, councils and other public services - in areas with key freight ports. This is aimed at helping them build infrastructure improvements to minimise any potential traffic disruption at the border.

A further GB£15m will go towards longer-term projects to boost road and rail links to ports.

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