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15 May 2018

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon decision is overdue for businesses in Wales

Commenting ahead of the BEIS Committee & Welsh Affairs Select Committee investigation the UK Government’s decision making on the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:

“Businesses in Wales have now been waiting for an unacceptably long period of time for the UK Government to come to a decision on the Tidal Lagoon.

It has been over a year since the Hendry Review confirmed support for the project and underlined the regenerative potential for the Swansea Bay region. The lack of decision on this project has been a very large ‘elephant in the room’ during so many discussions among businesses in South Wales on issues concerning the wider economy.

The Lagoon is a project which enjoys widespread support across all areas of business and politics and is recognised as an opportunity not just to generate secure, low carbon energy for businesses and homes but also an opportunity to be a hook for regeneration and tourism, complementing the activity around the Swansea Bay City Region Deal.

Tidal Lagoon Power made an early commitment to developing a localised supply chain for the project which we welcomed as it would have a positive impact on smaller firms in the region. Businesses are still waiting for the project to be confirmed so that the benefits can begin to be realised.

It is disappointing that we are still awaiting a decision on the Tidal Lagoon so long after the recommendations of the Hendry Review, and it is our hope that the investigation by the Committee will rebuild momentum around this project which provides an opportunity for the Swansea region and the UK to be a leader in clean energy generation.

Businesses in Wales will be looking to the investigation to act as a positive step towards unravelling the reasons that have slowed down the decision-making process, and paving the way for a decision that brings much-needed investment to South West Wales and addresses the future energy needs of business as well as making a positive statement of support for the local economy”.