Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead soon to the £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Bay Lagoon project.
The leaders of four local authorities in the Swansea Bay City Region have called on her to act soon in response to the UK government green paper on Building Our Industrial Strategy.
The strategy proposal is Mrs May’s call for views about how Britain can develop its industrial and productivity capacity in a post-Brexit era.
And the four leaders have replied to her pointing out that a green-light for the lagoon project would go a long way towards meeting her ambitions in south-West Wales.
Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said:
“We welcome the opportunity respond to the Prime Minister’s consultation document and we recognise, as does Mrs May, that Wales remains the least productive area of the UK.
“That’s why we’re urging her to get on and give the go-ahead to the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon which has already won the emphatic support of the independent inspector the government appointed to assess the project.”
Sir Charles Hendry, author of the Hendry Review, urged the government to give the project the green light after finding that it would create thousands of jobs and generate environment-friendly electricity for 155,000 homes for 120 years.
He described the project as cost-effective, technologically-sound and would bring “significant economic opportunity” in its wake. He said the government should adopt a “no regrets” policy towards it.
The leaders’ letter to Mrs May has also been signed by Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire Council; Jamie Adams, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council and Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council.
The letter says that much has been done to address the economic issues in south-West Wales but approval for the lagoon project would be especially significant in tackling the problem. It said there was overwhelming local sentiment that the project should move ahead swiftly.
“It has never been in question that this project can transform south-West Wales. Following the Hendry review it is unquestionable that the project can have a similar impact on the way we generate power and nurture productivity in the UK.”
The latest letter follows another earlier this week in which 107 MPs wrote to the UK Government urging it to push on with the scheme, saying that it chimes well with the Prime Minister’s proposed new industrial strategy.