Calls for review into Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon decision by Bridgend MP

Bridgend MP, Jamie Wallis, has written, along with a number of colleagues in Parliament, to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to request a meeting on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

Commenting on the letter, Jamie said: “I was more than happy to have co-singed this letter along with colleagues within Parliament.

“This project can have a major economic benefit to my constituents in Bridgend as the approval of this site can allow more Tidal Lagoons to be built across the UK.”

“During these worrying times, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon can help deliver a Green Recovery from the COVID crisis which can bring much needed investment and jobs right across the UK”

You can see the text of the letter which has been sent below:

Swansea Bay Tidal lagoon

I am writing to you today to request a meeting with you and a delegation of interested colleagues to discuss the Swansea Bay project and the opportunities afforded by the other proposed tidal lagoon projects within the UK that could follow on from Swansea.

The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project is a large infrastructure project for which construction would start within the next few months – subject to final agreement with Government of final points around financing and decommissioning. Swift agreement of these points helps deliver a Green Recovery from the COVID crisis, bringing much needed investment and jobs right across the UK.

That crisis has however put the project at real risk – urgently requiring your intervention. On 30 June, the deadline for the start of construction work at Swansea Bay lapses. A combination of the lockdown and a historic lack of political support for the project now raises the real risk that the deadline will be missed and that the project will therefore not be able to proceed.

The initial project at Swansea Bay is a pilot project for what are planned to be the first of six developments located throughout Britain. Ahead of COP26, the UK has the opportunity to be a world leader in the development and construction of low carbon tidal lagoon power. Giving these projects the ‘green-light’ will harness the power of our coastal geography to meet our net zero targets and revive left-behind regions with jobs and growth just at the time they need it the most. This would include the tidal Wyre Estuary in my own constituency, hence my interest.

Construction of the Swansea Bay lagoon alone stands to benefit domestic businesses to the tune of £850m, with these orders being placed over the next 12-month period. During construction, Swansea Bay is estimated to support around 2,300 jobs across the UK and create over 400 apprenticeships. It will reach power on before Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and produce electricity for a lower cost per unit of electricity than Hinkley Point C.

The tidal lagoon at Cardiff, which is four years into planning, once approved, would mean a further 11,000 jobs. A fleet of four Welsh developments is estimated to deliver jobs for 33,500 people.

Swansea Bay has a supply chain over 80% of which is based in the UK – compared to BEIS current target of 60%. Unlike nuclear, tidal does not entail financial dependency on China or France – and has no problematic and highly-expensive decommissioning process. It is a British enterprise, using British expertise, creating British jobs to power the green revival of the British economy.

The project requires urgent help in view of the planning deadline, and a relatively small amount of financial support to get off the ground. It will then deliver immediate benefit at a point when the economy badly needs it. Support for this project will also unlock Cardiff and Colwyn Bay, which are much larger projects, need no financial support from Government, and, with Swansea, will deliver considerably cheaper energy than nuclear, over a timescale up to 6 times that of other renewable sources.

At the base of this letter, I have included a list of fellow members of parliament who strongly feel that the project should be reviewed again and ask for a meeting to discuss the planning permission deadline and the projects future viability.

I look forward to your reply and engaging with you on this issue at the earliest convenience.

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