Post-Brexit requirements are forcing UK ports to invest in infrastructure.
Portsmouth International Port (PIP) is building a Border Control Post (BCP) using GB£17.1m from the UK Government’s Ports Infrastructure Fund. The Government’s Border Operating Model requires facilities to be in place to manage physical checks on imports from 1 January 2022.
Mike Sellers, PIP director, said: “Our contractors are underway on this huge development project and you’ll start to see the BCP taking shape.
“Brand new facilities will be created, which required extra land because we were already at capacity.
“This has allowed us to expand and will be able to increase our role a key port, providing critical routes for UK-EU trade serving the western channel and providing resilience against the challenges of the short crossings in Kent.”
PIP’s new facility provides importers with a solution when looking for a port to clear their goods, when they become subject to new checks.
New purpose-built facilities, which meet DEFRA specification for checking plant and products of animal origin, will include refrigerated units for chilled and frozen products, inspection rooms and cross docking abilities, where cargo can be unloaded and checked easily.
DEFRA will support funding for veterinary and port health staff, as they will be required to work shifts inspecting food and plant products.
Kier is constructing the BCP, which will meet which meet DEFRA specification for checking plant and products of animal origin. The BCP will have 14 loading bays, 17 cold stores able to keep goods chilled or frozen, and five inspections rooms and inspection areas.
The site stretches across nearly two acres and the steel structure for the project will start being constructed shortly. Solar PV will be installed in building materials to make the project eco-friendly.
Sellers said a funding shortfall means PIP has not been able to accommodate a live animal health check facility in its plans.