Published: 12:44, 17 November 2020
| Updated: 12:45, 17 November 2020
The location of a post-Brexit customs clearance site for lorries in Dover has been revealed as the town receives extra funding to help it cope with changes.
After months of speculation, a new Border Control Point is proposed to be located at disused industrial space in the White Cliffs Business Park, next to the B&Q at Whitfield, from summer 2021.
A consultation has been launched by government ministers for residents to raise any potential concerns, such as traffic and environmental impacts.
It's understood the site which is less than a 10-minute drive from the coast will have capacity for 1,200 trucks and create additional jobs for the area.
The revelation comes alongside a half a million pound cash injection, announced today, to help Dover cope with the changes brought by Brexit.
The £500,000 sum is from a new transition fund and will be made to Dover District Council. It will help deliver traffic management projects such as Keep Dover Clear – allowing residents and businesses to get around over the next few weeks and months.
The plans are in addition to a multi-million pound Freeports bid which would see East Kent strengthen business links with international trade and manufacturing businesses operating across the country.
MP for Dover and Deal, Natalie Elphicke, said: “It was a key pledge of mine to fight for more jobs and investment for our area.
"It is vital that we seize the opportunities that Brexit can bring for our area and secure investment in businesses and in our road network to do just that.
"That’s why I welcome the new jobs, transport and infrastructure investment a Border Control Point in Whitfield could bring, together with the transition fund to help businesses and residents in our area.
“Dover is the busiest and best port in the UK. We have a great future ahead. I have been working closely with the Port of Dover to support their proposals for free-zone and free port status, with local businesses who already trade with the world, as well as the creation of a Global Trade and Innovation Zone in East Kent.
“The next few weeks will bring change – but they bring opportunity. I am determined we make the very most of the opportunities yet to come.”
The government has set aside £200m of a £470m fund for ports to build facilities to enable them to process goods coming to and going from the UK after Brexit but they are still waiting to hear if their application has been successful.
Meanwhile, Dover District Council has been allocated additional funding from the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Additional Restrictions Grant to support businesses in the amount of £4,520,388.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, leader of Dover District Council said: “This week Dover District Council received around £5million of additional business and transition support from Government for our area.
"This is a tremendous vote of confidence - and we need to make it work for us.
“This will be an exciting and challenging next few weeks as we end the transition period. I am so proud of our unique and historic position in our area.
"I have no doubt that there will be challenges – but we stand ready at Dover District Council to help our residents and businesses through transition, and beyond."