The Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is delighted to welcome Ian Cooper to the team as Operations Manager. Following a successful four years as Operations Manager at the city’s award-winning museum, archive and gallery, The Box, Ian will join the Freeport on 2 May.

Having graduated from Keele Law School in 2005, Ian started his career in financial services working for RBS and Miller Insurance. As a Lloyd’s and London market insurance broker he worked closely with underwriters to secure appropriate (re)insurance coverage for clients operating in the marine and energy industries. 

More recently, Ian has operated in a local authority setting for Plymouth City Council as part of the team responsible for delivering The Box. This included being a member of the senior client team, taking ownership of the business plan, and leading the operational delivery of The Box estate following the completion and opening of the venue in 2020.   

Richard May, CEO, Plymouth and South Devon Freeport:

“I am delighted to welcome Ian to the Freeport team. He brings with him a wealth of experience gained in both the private and public sectors. Ian joins at an exciting time for the Freeport as we work both nationally and globally to heavily market the proposition to potential investors and businesses who want to take advantage of the benefits of being part of the government’s UK Freeports programme.”

Ian Cooper, incoming Operations Manager for the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport adds:

“I’m really looking forward to being part of the team. The Freeport is a flagship initiative for Plymouth, South Devon and the South West and will bring millions of pounds of investment, opportunities and innovative working partnerships to the region. I’m especially passionate about the Freeport’s ambition to increase economic specialisation, earnings and enhance skills capacity for the people of the city and area and to support that objective, along with many others, in my new role.” 

Ian joins as the Freeport enters an accelerated mobilisation phase following government approval of the Full Business Case last December. Ian will be responsible for the Freeport’s critical success factors including the strategic fit with wider policy objectives, compliance, monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements including those relating to, and aligning, with carbon net zero objectives.

The Freeport is a dynamic public/private partnership with Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and Devon County Council working alongside Princess Yachts, Carlton Power, the Sherford Consortium and a wider range of stakeholders including the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, ABP (Associated British Ports), Babcock, Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, skills providers and the Heart of the South West LEP to ensure its success.

Ian’s appointment is made by Plymouth and South Devon Freeport Limited, a private company limited by guarantee without share capital.