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'We need tidal lagoon go-ahead by Christmas'

A Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon green light is needed by Christmas - that's what Swansea leaders have impressed upon the UK Government in a Westminster meeting.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, and Cllr Clive Lloyd, Swansea Council's Deputy Leader, made the case for a tidal lagoon go-ahead as soon as possible when they met Greg Clark, the UK Government's Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on Monday evening (October 30) in London.

At the meeting, Cllrs Stewart and Lloyd also encouraged Mr Clark to consider the huge benefit the construction of the tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay would have on the steel industry in South Wales.

Cllr Stewart said: "It was positive meeting, where we took the opportunity to convey to Mr Clark the overwhelming level of public support for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon scheme across South Wales as a whole. 

"We talked about growing Welsh Government support for the project, also dispelling myths about the tidal lagoon 'strike price' by emphasising that it's lower than nuclear and approved off-shore wind projects. 

"A UK Government go-ahead for the project would be a game-changer for Swansea Bay because the scheme would open up many thousands of jobs, generate zero carbon electricity for 155,000 homes for well over a century, considerably boost our steel industry and lead to a global export industry in Swansea, with the production of specialist turbines and other tidal lagoon technology here.

"But investor confidence in the project means it's time critical, so we've urged Mr Clark and the UK Government to give the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon the green light before Christmas. It's now been 10 months since the UK Government's own independent inspector, Charles Hendry, said this project is a 'no regrets' option, so I'm calling on Mr Clark and the Prime Minister to approve the project as soon as possible.

"There's an opportunity here for the UK to lead the world in sustainable, clean, green energy production - and it could all start in Swansea Bay."

At the meeting, Cllrs Stewart and Lloyd also showed the impact of an on-going community campaign called 'Love the Lagoon'. Since it was launched at the start of September, videos of support forming part of the campaign have generated over 130,000 views on social media.

Scores of local businesses and schools have submitted videos of support, as well as members of the public and sports stars including Swans skipper Leon Britton and Welsh rugby legends Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Shane Williams, Ryan Jones and Alun-Wyn Jones. 

A giant postcard of tidal lagoon support to the Prime Minister has also now been signed by hundreds of people, attracting dozens more signatures every day as it tours around Swansea communities.

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