Swansea Council urges UK government to back tidal lagoon
Thousands of jobs and investment worth millions of pounds could be at risk if the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project doesn’t go ahead, Swansea Council says.
The UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced it will be carrying out a review, starting in the spring, to determine whether tidal lagoons present value for money.
Responding to the announcement, Rob Stewart, Swansea Council leader, said:
“The UK Government has given the project planning consent and pledged its support on a number of occasions in the recent past, so we’d urge them to see sense, reconsider the need for the review and back the tidal lagoon once and for all. Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Ltd can’t wait much longer for their decision. This project is simply far too important for more hold-ups that will further delay its progress.”
Cardiff University Business School study has estimated the lagoon’s three-year construction phase could be worth more than £500 million to the Welsh economy, according to Swansea Council.
About 1,850 construction jobs could be created by the tidal lagoon project, which could operate from 2018, Swansea Council states. When fully operational, it’s expected to generate 500 GWh of electricity every year which is enough to power more than 155,000 homes.
“It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the tidal lagoon project to the economic prosperity of Swansea, the Swansea Bay City Region and Wales as a whole. We’re struggling to understand what else needs to be done. On-going negotiations over the strike price have already led to delays, but the review that’s just been announced could now put this project in complete jeopardy. This would be a further devastating blow to the local area, just weeks after the announcement of so many job losses at Tata Steel in Port Talbot,” concluded Stewart.