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Politicians question Government’s commitment to Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

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Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 19 September 2017 8:08

Politicians question Government’s commitment to Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Is a rising tide of opinion right that the multi-million tidal lagoon power project in Swansea Bay will not get built – or is it just Brexit politics?

In a feature programme on Radio 4 asking how Wales would cope should it lose the £600million-plus of annual EU money, senior political figures turned their attentions to the energy project.

Tidal Lagoon Power, the Gloucester company behind the scheme which could create thousands of jobs and unlock a world-wide market putting the business at its centre, is eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to begin building work.

Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea, has spoken out in favour of the project previously – but on Radio 4 expressed doubts for its future.

“Key projects risk being burned at the altar of Brexit,” he said, refereeing to the planned tidal lagoon and railway line electrification.

Liam Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, said: “There is now so much doubt that these projects will go ahead.

“My fear is Brexit will be used to reduce inwards investment.”

The Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan and Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, repeated his party’s commitment to the ‘UK shared prosperity fund’ to make major infrastructure project happen.

Post Brexit the Government has said it would replace EU funds for poorer parts of the UK with the fund to reduce inequalities across the four nations.

He would not be drawn directly on the lagoon project.

Whether the company itself has any view whether the project is imminent - or hangs in the balance -is not clear. In its own words, it did not want to comment.

However, readers of these pages will have spotted the recent news that the firm is at least acting as if it is expecting a positive outcome.

Just yesterday we ran a story stating how the Gloucester company, run by Mark Shorrock, who lives near Stroud was championing a breakthrough for a second pending tidal lagoon project project.

The Gloucester Docks-headquartered firm wanted to let everyone know it had secured the grid connection for a 3,240MW capacity tidal lagoon it claims could generate some of the cheapest electricity of all new power stations built in the UK.

The project, located between Cardiff and Newport, has been selected as the first to employ a full-scale   blueprint of the pathfinder Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

The firm stressed as far as it was concerned the Swansea project – causing all the consternation with the political movers and shakers above – “is expecting final sign-off by the UK Government in the coming weeks”.

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