City Region leaders are demanding to know what information the UK Government are taking into account when deciding the fate of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.
In a letter to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, it’s being asked if the cost of electricity is the only factor being considered, or if other Tidal Lagoon benefits are also being taken on board.
The letter comes within days of the Welsh Government pledging £200 million to help build the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Lead Leader for the Swansea Bay City Region, said:
“The Welsh Government funding pledge is a game-changer because it allows tidal in Swansea Bay to be priced the same as nuclear in Hinckley, which the UK Government has already approved.
“This completely dispels the myth that the Tidal Lagoon is too expensive to be given the go-ahead, so we’d like to know if it’s just the cost of electricity the UK Government will base its decision on, or if the project’s many other benefits are also being considered.
“The Tidal Lagoon will create thousands of jobs, benefit supply chain businesses across South West Wales, and lead to a new global export industry in Swansea Bay.
“So if these factors are also being taken on board, then what information has been collected and provided for the attention of UK Government decision-makers?
“This is a vital decision, so the people of South West Wales deserve to know.”
In January 2017, a UK Government-commissioned report published by former energy minister Charles Hendry referred to the Tidal Lagoon as a ‘no regrets’ option.
Cllr Stewart said:
“This is a project that’s seen by all four regional councils and the wider business community as an extremely important catalyst to address the gulf in economic well-being between Swansea Bay and the rest of the UK.
“It would further boost everything we’re doing as part of the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal to improve local people’s lives by raising aspirations and giving opportunities to access well-paid jobs in key regional sectors like energy, creative industries, advanced manufacturing and life sciences.”