Commenting on reports that the UK Government are set to reject the £1.3bn plan to build a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, Stephen Kinnock, whose Aberavon constituency along with Swansea East, would be home to the lagoon, said, “If this is true, it is absolutely devastating news for Aberavon and for the whole Swansea Bay area.
“After months of the UK Government prevaricating on this decision, and more than a year after the Hendry Review backed the project, it’s looking increasingly like the government may have bottled it. The lagoon requires the Government to be bold and back a pathfinder project that would promote self-sufficiency, re-balance the economy, and create jobs across the UK, addressing disparities in national productivity.
“Giving the lagoon the green light would be a massive boost to the area, especially at a time when the region is reeling from job losses at Virgin Media and dark clouds are gathering over steel jobs thanks to President Trump and his steel tariffs. The Lagoon is an opportunity for the Government to step up to the plate and deliver for the people of Aberavon and Swansea Bay, except we are all too familiar with this story from a Tory Government who have failed to stand up for steel and failed to deliver on rail electrification west of Cardiff.
“The first of its kind in the world, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would produce enough energy to power 150,000 Welsh homes for 120 years, sustain over 2,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in Wales, and support as many as 311 industrial and manufacturing businesses along the supply chain. It would deliver £8 million in tourism revenue, and crucially for my Aberavon constituency, the project would require more than 100,000 tonnes of steel, much of which would come through the Port Talbot steelworks.
“This is a project that speaks to the Government’s Industrial Strategy which makes the prospect of them rejecting in all the more irrational. The Government needs to rethink this decision and back the lagoon, in doing so they would be investing in the local area, delivering jobs, energy and opportunity to the Swansea Bay Region.”