Felixstowe: Port expansion to create 1,500 new jobs

CELEBRATING its 125th birthday, it was the Port of Felixstowe which today gave the best gift – the announcement of 1,500 new jobs.

Port owner Hutchison Port Holdings said it was committed to the long-term future of the container terminal – with more major investment planned over the next decade on top of the �300 million spent on its two new deepwater berths.

Work will start on phase two of the extension of Felixstowe once the economy improves, and when the development on the other side of Harwich Harbour is added, it will mean an investment of �1 billion.

Chief executive officer David Gledhill revealed that when both phases of the Felixstowe expansion is complete, Hutchison Ports will have taken on 1,500 new directly employed workers, bringing its total workforce to more than 4,100.

It was great news on a day of amazing celebration with the Princess Royal visiting to inaugurate the new terminal, followed by a sensational opening ceremony with free runners, rockets and robots.

Then it was party time with food, fireworks, film, free rides for the children and bands for the adults on the seafront.

“As well as providing a boost to British business the investment programme planned for Felixstowe will also benefit the local area,” said Mr Gledhill.

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“Over 32,000 individuals are currently employed, directly or indirectly, in the Haven Gateway, of which the Port of Felixstowe is a part.

“The expansion of Felixstowe will create 1,500 new jobs, a massive boon for employment in the region.”

Currently the Port of Felixstowe deals with over 40 per cent of the country’s container cargo – around �60bn of imports and exports each year. Clemence Cheng, managing director, central Europe of Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), spoke of the company’s pride in Felixstowe and said it was here for the long-haul, committed to the port’s future.

“The Port of Felixstowe was HPH’s first investment outside Hong Kong, and this exciting new development underscores our ongoing commitment to ensuring that it has the facilities to retain its position amongst the world’s leading ports,” he said.

“Our latest investment will help ensure that the UK remains a direct-call destination for the latest generation of ultra-large container ships.”