Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union Unite has called the UK government to stop stalling on the creation of over 2,000 jobs and unleash an economic boost worth at least £500 million to the Welsh economy, by giving the green light to the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.
The union, whose members work in construction and manufacturing across the Welsh and wider UK economy, has grown increasingly frustrated over the UK government’s failure to give the go-ahead to the project, Unite said.
The venture, which would be the first power project of its kind in the UK, was given planning consent two years ago and has the backing of the Welsh government in addition to cross party support in Westminster.
An independent review, led by Charles Hendry, concluded that tidal lagoons can play a ‘cost-effective part in the UK’s energy mix’ and that moving ahead with the Swansea Bay project ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ is a ‘no regrets policy’.
Unite believes the Swansea Bay lagoon project could open the door to similar larger projects around England and Wales and pave the way to the UK becoming a world leader in tidal power electricity generation as part of a wider industrial strategy.
Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary, said: “Theresa May and her government needs to stop the dithering and end the continued uncertainty over the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. This is a landmark project which would unleash an economic boost worth millions into the Welsh economy and create thousands of much needed decent jobs.
“Not only would it be great news for Wales, but it would also see the birth of an industry that would have transformative impact across the whole of the UK.
“It’s a no-brainer, if Theresa May is indeed in ‘listening mode’ then she needs to heed the chorus of support from industry, unions and politicians from all parties by giving a resounding ‘yes’ to Swansea.”
Unite has around 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy.