Swansea’s plans for tidal lagoon get boost from the community

Swansea’s plans for tidal lagoon get boost from the community

A rallying cry is going out to the people of Swansea and beyond to show their support for the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant in South Wales.

It is estimated the £1.3 billion development will create and support 2,232 jobs and contribute £316 million to the Welsh economy during construction, followed by £76 million during each of its 120 years of operation.

The campaign is urging people from all walks of life to post a short video message of support online calling on the UK Government to greenlight for the scheme as soon as possible.

The messages will be sent to the UK Government as well as being shown on the big screen in Castle Square.

The campaign is already being supported by major businesses, politicians, sports and cultural stars and key figures in the region’s tourism sector.

They include Roy Thomas, owner of Bay Studios and Swansea Airport, John Bollom of Mumbles Pier, and Nigel Short, chairman of the Scarlets and director at Penderyn Distillery.

Rugby legends Jonathan Davies, Shane Williams and Alun Wyn Jones, Tourism Swansea Bay, Swansea Bay Futures and The SA1 Waterfront Business Club are among others to add their support.

Businessman Roy Thomas said: “The Tidal Lagoon is an absolute must for the region. I can't think of anything more vital towards boosting the economy at the moment.

“Bay Studios and Swansea Airport will do everything they can to help it happen.”

Wales rugby legend Jonathan Davies said: “The Tidal Lagoon project would be great for employment, for green electricity and for sports facilities. It would be great for Swansea and for Wales.”

Pier owner John Bollom said: “You only have to look at the tidal range at Swansea to realise that the proposal makes sense.

“We fully back this imaginative renewable energy project - and we look forward to the day when water taxis travel between the lagoon and Mumbles Pier.”

A tidal lagoon is a ‘U’ shaped breakwater built out from the coast which has a bank of hydro turbines along it.

Water fills up and empties the man-made lagoon as the tides rise and fall, generating electricity on both the incoming and outgoing tides, four times a day.

Due to the incredible tides on the west coast of Britain, by keeping the turbine gates shut for just three hours, a 14ft height difference is created in the water between the inside and the outside of the lagoon.

Power is then generated as the water rushes through 200ft long draft tubes, rotating the 23ft diameter hydro turbines.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The lagoon project would be the first of its kind in the UK and would be a real game-changer for Swansea.

“An independent report backing the project was given to the Government months ago so it’s now time they gave the go ahead to this project. The clock is ticking. It has been eight months since the Hendry Review was published.

“We want to send a clear message to the UK Government showing there’s widespread support for this crucial project both locally and nationally.

“This is a real community campaign where the voices of people in street can make a difference. We want people to take just a few minutes to post a short message online and send a clear message to the Government that a positive announcement is needed without delay.”

The review into the lagoon, headed by former energy minister Charles Hendry, concluded it would be a “no regrets” option and that building a prototype lagoon in Swansea Bay was in the national interest.

Tidal Lagoon Power claims it would kick-start a new industry and that a "fleet" of larger, more cost-effective lagoons across the UK coastline could follow.