Inland Ports

Background

Following the UK’s departure from the EU and the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, new rules affecting trade, travel, and businesses for the EU and UK are being brought into effect from 1 January 2021.

The new rules require additional customs and transit checks to support the export and import of goods to and from the UK. Where there is no space at ports for new border infrastructure, the Government has is seeking approval to build new inland border facilities where these checks and other activities will take place.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have been engaging with all relevant stakeholders to explain the need for inland border facilities at a number of locations across the country.

Key Project Information

The key objective for BECG in its support to Mott MacDonald, DfT and HMRC has been to deliver stakeholder engagement across the project, with a view to achieving approval of the Government’s plans at various inland border facility sites through the Special Development Order (SDO) consenting process.

Key challenges presented in meeting this objective were:

  • The tight timescales faced by Government departments in order to consent, construct and deliver inland border facilities required before the end of the transition period
  • Delivering a robust and inclusive stakeholder engagement process in the midst of the Coronavrius pandemic

How we assisted

BECG has provided ongoing communications support to the Stakeholder Engagement team at Mott MacDonald, encompassing:

  • Engagement with key technical and community stakeholders to share information, answer questions and address concerns
  • Liaison with the communications teams at Government departments to agree and coordinate relevant local communications regarding the project
  • Supporting delivery of a digital first public engagement exercise on inland border facilities sites across the country.
  • Delivering a Stakeholder Engagement Report detailing public and stakeholder engagement activity, for consideration as part of the SDO application submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Outcome

All priority sites for inland border facilities were granted consent by MHCLG in 2020, and will be operational in time 1st January 2021 in order to support ongoing flow of trade between the UK and EU.

The team at BECG have been a huge help in delivering a successful programme of communications on this project in a challenging timescale. BECG personnel have assisted us greatly when the pressure has been on, both in terms of on-the-ground delivery and their wider understanding of communications challenges associated with major infrastructure.

Richard Bowen, Stakeholder & Public Liaison Manager, Mott MacDonald