A north-east councillor has called for two of the region’s biggest quays to join forces to secure free port status.
Under government plans 10 of the zones would be established around the UK once Britain leaves the European Union and different areas will be able to bid for the status.
A free port is a zone within a country that is treated for customs purposes as an independent jurisdiction.
Goods can then be manufactured, imported and exported in the zone without incurring normal barriers to trade.
Boris Johnson touted the idea during his leadership bid and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss previously said the scheme could create “thousands of jobs”.
Now Banff councillor John Cox is urging Fraserburgh and Peterhead to work together on a joint bid to secure free port status.
He said combining the best of the two seaside towns means they make a “strong case” for becoming free ports post-Brexit.
Mr Cox said: “The Banffshire and Buchan region is renowned for its wealth of raw materials, international businesses and manufacturing of high-tech goods.
“However, costs of distribution can make the difference when deciding investment. Although the concept of free ports is at an early stage, by pulling together the two towns it should make a strong case.
“It is disappointing with all the oil and gas flowing through north Aberdeenshire, and offshore wind farms on the doorstep that there is no tangible benefits for businesses in terms of energy costs.
“Therefore, consideration should be given to make this region a low energy cost region to support our manufacturing in order to compensate in some way for an increasing distribution overhead.”
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Last week Simon Brebner, chief executive of Peterhead Port Authority, said the free port project could work for the Buchan harbour, but wants more details about it.
He said: “It is certainly one way to boost economic activity for sure. There is a lot more detail beyond what was announced and it would have to work for the port and the region.
“We have fishing and oil and gas here, so we have the majority of the big players already operating in this area. In practice free ports have been very successful, but we really need the details.”
The body that runs Fraserburgh harbour has said it will “investigate” the possibility of bidding for free port status.
They issued a statement which said: “Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners will investigate any avenues that will help bring their plans for the port to fruition.”
The free port plan has already been welcomed with Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson claiming the city’s harbour is “perfectly placed” to become one of the free ports.