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Public Trade Office to benefit business in Dorset opens

Posted on: 17/08/2021

The new Public Trade Office, or the International Trade Customs Office, at the Port of Poole is now officially open for business. The facility will create and safeguard jobs while attracting new businesses to Dorset.

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) invested £950,000 of the government’s Getting Building Fund allocation for Dorset to Poole Harbour Commissioners for the creation of this facility which will be operated by UK Border Force. Dorset LEP has invested over £2 million to fund the Public Trade Office and a Port Operations Facility to enable the construction of a Border Control Post at the Port of Poole which will more effectively manage trade in Dorset.

Arabella Lewis-Smith, Dorset LEP Board Member, said “It is fantastic to see this new Public Trade Office up and running. The Port of Poole is an important economic asset within the Dorset economy and to date Dorset LEP has invested over £22 million in the area. The trade office will effectively manage and safeguard trade between the port and the EU for the future, creating jobs and supporting business growth.”

Jim Stewart, Chief Executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners, said “The Public Trade Office is an essential piece of infrastructure for a port. This will enable traffic to flow through the port. Without the construction of this building, it would have jeopardised the future for the Port of Poole. For businesses importing or exporting through Poole, this facility will ensure they have access to Europe. It will create economic growth, it will create jobs, and it will help to keep Poole on the map as an international gateway.”

The Border Control Post project, soon to be completed, will see the construction of offices and welfare facilities for 46 port staff (stevedores, foremen, port operations and accounts), replacing existing facilities which will be demolished to enable its construction. The demolition and replacement of these existing facilities is essential to free-up the required footprint of land necessary to construct a Border Control Post, also to be operated by UK Border Force.

The Border Control Post project is expected to be operational by 1 January 2022. Organisations such as the Department for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will use the post to examine freight coming through the port meets UK standards.

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