The Management Case

Demonstrating that the intervention is deliverable

The national Freeport policy provided a unique opportunity to transform the area but it was recognised that success would be dependent on embedding the right structures and processes to take full advantage of the offer. The Management Case described the Freeport’s proposed governance and management arrangements, underpinned by the Nolan Principles of public office ensuring that selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership are embedded in our processes.

It described how the Freeport Company was established by the founder members (who are the Local Authority partners) in the summer of 2022 with the following features:

  • Plymouth City Council as the Accountable Body – who will receive and allocate the seed capital to support the delivery of the Freeport’s Annual Delivery Plan;
  • The Freeport Company – who will have autonomy to operate and run the Freeport within its delegated powers;
  • The Local Authorities – who will be responsible for delivering the capital works funded by Freeport seed capital and local public sector match generated through retained business rates and, for holding Landowners to account through the Landowner agreements; and,
  • The Landowners – who will be responsible for delivering their individual sites in accordance with the Landowner Agreements.

Within the structure, the Board of Directors has a private sector chair appointed by the founder members for a three-year term and the Board was also set up to include Local Authority and Land Owner Directors with the ability to co-opt others as needed.

It also includes a Member Steering Group, made up of a senior elected member and/or officer leads from each of the three Local Authority partners with accountability for the strategic direction of the Freeport and alignment with wider regeneration and other agendas such as Carbon Net Zero and the emerging County Deal.

Reflecting the objectives for the Freeport programme set by central government and with standing membership, the structure also includes a series of sub-committees with oversight of key activities. These have been refined since the FBC was submitted.

Likewise, the Freeport benefits from a dedicated team of staff, whose roles have been refined since the Company become operational.

Risk management was embedded within the governance and management structure as described above and was fully aligned with Plymouth City Council’s Risk and Opportunity Management Strategy which is based on the ‘three lines of defence’ model.

Recognising the importance of communicating, engaging, including and working with identified key stakeholders at every stage of this journey, the Management Case also sets out a Communications and Engagement Strategy.

Finally, as part of the commitment to ensuring that learning from the Freeport can be captured and shared, the Management Case set out the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy, engaging closely with DLUHC’s evaluation provider, requiring the team to routinely monitor and report on progress as the Freeport develops.

In order to make a compelling case for Freeport designation, the business case that was submitted to Government followed a prescribed template that was by necessity very detailed and also contained a range of commercially sensitive information. These summaries provide a more digestible overview of the business case with commercially sensitive information removed. It should also be noted that the material presented, including all cost assumptions, was accurate at the time of submission (April 2022). The summaries have not been updated since then. We have moved forward on a number of core activities through our mobilisation phase which are not reflected in the summaries, with the Freeport Company and associated board structures having now been established. This has enabled us to start building on the hard work that went into securing Freeport designation, working with our partners to leverage exciting new opportunities for the area.