Kent County Council Leader, Cllr Roger Gough, and Dover District Council Leader, Cllr Trevor Bartlett, and I are pleased that there has been a double victory for port related investment locally.
The Government has decided the next steps for the delivery of two key border operations for HMRC and Port Health to support Dover, with the intention that these are based in the town, in addition to border functions at Sevington, Ashford. The investment for Dover will run into tens of millions of pounds and is expected to support hundreds of local jobs. The decision comes following a determined campaign fought by the MP and the council leaders to gain more investment and jobs for Dover and Deal, and to ensure that the border facilities in East Kent fully support the future of the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.
HMRC will be building a brand new multi-million pound border facility at the White Cliffs Business Park in Dover. Meanwhile the plan is for Port Health related checks on certain food and animal products to be made at a separate facility in Dover. This second further multi-million pound investment in port health will help to ensure that food coming from the EU meets the high standards of the UK and is safe to eat and free from disease.
Today we are seeing millions of pounds of investment committed into our area. This is a real Brexit Boost for our community, and a strong vote of confidence in the Dover area by the Government. Hundreds of local jobs will be supported in the HMRC and health operations and for the surrounding port businesses.
It’s been a hard fought campaign to secure investment and jobs we need to ensure that Dover remains the UK’s leading port. I am delighted that we have been successful.
This investment will not come at the expense of our community. I am glad that the concerns raised by local residents have been listened to by Ministers and taken into account in the design and delivery of the White Cliffs border facility. Together with local councillors, I have worked hard to ensure residents’ voices have been listened to and acted upon.
The investment we are seeing today will help our community make the most of the opportunities of cross-border travel and trade in the years to come.
Cllr Roger Gough, Kent County Council Leader, said:
“This is excellent news for Kent. Today sees record investment in both Dover and Ashford, setting the county up for success in jobs and infrastructure through the Channel Ports, while also ensuring that there is a resilient and strong border network for our County.
“At MP, County Council and District Councils, we have worked hand in glove to deliver a smart and resilient solution, and millions of pounds of investment in our area.”
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said:
“This is fantastic news and very welcome new investment for our area. My colleagues Cllr Martin Bates and Cllr Oliver Richardson have been determined that local residents’ concerns were taken on board in the design of the HMRC White Cliffs Border Facility. I am very glad the Government listened to these concerns and has made the facility smaller and less intrusive, while still ensuring that the jobs and investment needed are coming to our community.
“Works on the new access road are expected to begin shortly at the White Cliffs site, with more news and plans to follow in the coming weeks.”