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Prime Minister urged to visit planned Swansea lagoon location

Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged to visit Swansea this week to see the proposed site of the world's first tidal lagoon.

Tidal lagoon

With the Welsh Conservative Party Conference being held at nearby Ffos Las Racecourse this Friday (May 18) Mrs May's attention will already be on the region.

Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: "I'd love to show the Prime Minister our coastline and explain why it would be perfect for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

"There's every reason why she should get behind the lagoon. The economy of south west Wales will benefit, the whole of the UK will have a cost-effective and viable source of energy - and there would be a new industry in which we lead the world.

"The lagoon will bring many benefits for the renewable energy industry and the Welsh economy if the UK Government gives it the green light. 

"It would boost tourism, jobs and confidence in Wales as a forward-looking economy."

Nigel Short, owner of Wales's world-renowned Penderyn Distillery and chairman of Scarlets Rugby, said: "I'm confident that, were Mrs May to visit, we could make a strong case for the UK Government to back the lagoon.

"We need clean, sustainable, base load energy - and the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would deliver just that. It's important that the Government shows the vision and leadership to allow the delivery of this exciting new technology.

"Energy is here in places like the seas of Swansea Bay. It's there forever and it's free - we just need the vision to use it."

The privately funded £1.3bn project would generate green energy for 120 years but first needs UK Government backing.

Last year, supporters of the #lovethelagoon campaign delivered a giant postcard and letter from the people and businesses of Wales to the Whitehall Office of the Secretary of State for Wales and 10 Downing Street to highlight the strength of support for the lagoon.

Businesses backing the campaign include Owens Group, Castell Howell Foods, WRW Construction, the Morgans group of companies, Day's Rental, Coastal Housing, the Swans, the Ospreys, the Scarlets, Andrew Scott Ltd, Dawnus Construction Holdings and Cuddy Group.

Cllr Stewart said: "This innovative, game-changing project is far too important to be shelved in any way. It's worth many thousands of jobs to Swansea Bay and would generate zero-carbon power for over a century.

"Post-Brexit, this technology could also see the UK leading the way in a new, global industry - and it could all start in Swansea Bay.

"Why are we still waiting for a UK Government decision? Even their own independent inspector backed this project - and that was many months ago. With private sector investment and confidence on the line for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, time is now very much of the essence. 

"Love the Lagoon campaign videos, which have generated over 150,000 views, show the scale of support for the project, so with the Welsh Conservatives conference now imminent, this is a another chance for the UK Government to approve this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Swansea Bay, giving South West Wales the backing we've lacked for so long."

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