HMRC cuts £28m post at Galliford Try Kent border facility

The government has scrapped a £28million inland border facility, which was to be built by Galliford Try.

In an update to its internal border plans, HMRC said that after reviewing the volume of ‘cross-Channel traffic’ at Dover and the need for customs checks, the government had decided not to go ahead with a new facility, adding that the move would save £120m.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is however studying alternative options for the site.

He said: “The review showed that the existing facilities have sufficient capacity to cope with the traffic flow and therefore a new site was not required. […]

“The decision not to build the Inland Border Facility does not mean that this asset is no longer required by the government. The DfT is currently exploring alternative options for its development to alleviate pressure at the border, given the issues of disruption to the strategic road network in Kent and at the ports.

Galliford Try had signed a pre-construction contract for the site, with a contract value of £28million, at White Cliffs – near the A2 in Kent, and the villages of Guston and Whitfield.

The 15 ha site was intended for customs checks, physical inspections and customs clearance of goods entering and leaving the UK.

Along with the announcement that the Dover facility will be cut, HMRC has decided to close the Birmingham and North Weald IBF sites ahead of schedule.

These IBF sites were introduced temporarily to facilitate customs checks when the UK first left the EU. But HMRC said the interim sites were no longer needed now that the Holyhead and Sevington facilities are fully operational.

Kent’s road network, particularly the section through Dover, has come under considerable pressure since the UK decided to leave the EU, with customs controls in place since the start of 2021.

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