This week’s announcement of investment in new border facilities is good news for Dover. The investment will create and support hundreds of local jobs. It will ensure our border controls are stronger. Most of all it will ensure that Dover remains the UK’s premier port. In usual times, the Channel Ports transit up to one-sixth of the country’s trade, with 11 million passengers and 4.5 million vehicles. This investment of tens of millions of pounds by the Government will underpin the continued success and growth of the Port and related businesses in our area.
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.
This is a real Brexit Boost for our community, and a strong vote of confidence in the whole Dover area by the Government. Hundreds of local jobs will be supported in the HMRC and health operations and in 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. This investment will not come at the expense of our community. I am glad that the concerns raised by Dover District Councillors Martin Bates and Oliver Richardson on behalf of 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.
Just as important as securing the new facilities was ensuring that facilities were provided on both of our major roads – the M2/A2 and the M20/A20. At the heart of Dover’s success is that we have, unusually for a port or airport, two major motorways serving the port. This week’s announcements see Dover’s facilities provided both along the M2/A2 and the M20/A20. It comes as I have further meetings with Highways England about the Ris3 – Dover A2 upgrade – proposals to strengthen our local road network.
The decision to leave the EU has been implemented and the UK is now building back better from the pandemic. To Keep Dover Clear and Britain moving forward, I have fought hard to secure the extra jobs and money for our area. Making sure that we have the facilities we need, while safeguarding the local environment. It has been a real battle, but I feel the right balance has been struck.
There will always be challenges on the road ahead but this week’s news is a major and positive step forward for our community.