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Environmental campaigners back tidal lagoon decision

Environmental campaigners have backed plans to build a £1 billion tidal lagoon in Swansea after it was announced the UK Government granted the scheme planning permission.

Environmental campaigners say the lagoon could 'build a clean and safer energy future.' Credit: Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon PLC

Tidal power could further revolutionise Wales’ energy mix - instead of relying on climate-wrecking fossil fuels, it could help us build a clean and safer energy future.

There are still a few environmental hurdles to clear - such as the source of the rock to be used - but provided these concerns can be managed and mitigated, tidal lagoons could make a significant contribution to a 100% renewably-powered UK.

Investment in the huge potential of tidal power is an exciting step forward, but the Government must also make the most of the proven renewable sources we already have, such as offshore wind and solar, where costs are falling rapidly.

– Gareth Clubb, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru
Credit: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc

RenewableUK Cymru says the decision from DECC brings Wales one step closer to a 'bold new renewable era'.

It says, although the proposed lagoon in Swansea Bay is relatively modest in size compared to the mothballed Severn Barrage, it is a first-of-kind development which promises huge potential benefits to the local workforce and to the expertise of engineers from Wales and beyond.

The not for profit renewable energy trade association says it also offers the prospect of more than a century of near-zero carbon electricity, improved tourism and leisure facilities, and upgraded infrastructure in the region to support and take advantage of the development.

This is a huge step forward for an iconic development that will be the envy of coastal areas across the world. I would like to pay tribute to the staff at Tidal Lagoon Power who have worked incredibly hard to get the project to this stage, and wish them the very best with the final financial and regulatory hurdles.

– David Clubb, Director of RenewableUK Cymru

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Welsh Government welcomes tidal lagoon go-ahead

The Welsh Government has welcomed planning approval for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project.

Wales is well-placed to exploit the potential of marine energy and the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project could create thousands of jobs during the construction and hundreds of permanent ones. We will continue to work with the developers and other partners to ensure the benefits of this project are maximised across the Welsh supply chain.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Lagoon 'will put Swansea at heart of global innovation'

The leader of Swansea Council says the planned tidal lagoon "will put Swansea at the heart of global innovation".

Harnessing marine energy in this imaginative way could soon make Swansea a global example of innovative and sustainable best practice. This could well spark similar schemes across the world in future as other cities and countries follow in Swansea’s footsteps.

The construction of the tidal lagoon would also be a major boost to the local economy. Not only will it open up new jobs and generate more trade for existing local businesses, but the inclusion of facilities for cycling, walking, angling, running, rowing and sailing will generate recreational benefits for local people and further boost a tourism industry that’s already worth over £360 million a year to the local area. It’ll also lead to a new industry right on our doorstep that could potentially create a new export market in Swansea.

– Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader

Around 1,850 construction jobs could be created by the tidal lagoon project, which could operate from 2018.

Lagoon boss: Wales to 'lead climate change revolution'

The chief executive of the company behind the planned Swansea Bay tidal lagoon says Wales can now lead the "climate change revolution".

Through a single project, we have the opportunity to create a whole new industry. And in a single step, that project can take us to low-cost, renewable energy on a nuclear scale.

We see it as a game-changer, a scalable blueprint, paving the way for a fleet of lagoons that can work in harmony with nature to help secure the nation's electricity for generations to come.

– Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc

Mr Shorrock added that the local community and people across the country will be offered the chance to part-own the lagoon.

Planning granted for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Plans for the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant at Swansea Bay have been given the go-ahead.

Credit: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc

The £1bn project has a design life of 120 years and a net annual power output of over 500 GWh - enough to meet the annual electricity requirement of over 155,000 homes.

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Wales This Week catch-up: Food For Thought

Does the produce we make in Wales get the backing it deserves? And what can be done to protect against the supermarkets? Wales This Week Investigates Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The food and drink industry is Wales’ biggest employer - but as supermarkets slash contracts and spark widespread redundancies, what can be done to boost Brand Wales?

Wales This Week "Food For Thought" is now available to watch online at itv.com/walesprogrammes

Council summit to win city deal for south Wales

The Welsh Secretary has invited the leaders of ten councils to talks aimed at taking advantage of the UK Government City Deal scheme.

In England, a number of regions led by major cities have been able to reach deals that see them gaining access to central and local investment as well as more power over their own affairs and more power to boost the economies in their areas. It's more complicated in Wales because local government is devolved to the Welsh Government.

The authorities invited to the meeting on Thursday are Cardiff, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan.

Cardiff is Europe's youngest capital city, a vibrant place which, once a cradle of the industrial revolution, is now creating an exciting future as a place to invest. It has already benefitted from 21st century digital infrastructure like the Cardiff Internet Exchange - a great example of Government, business and local partners working together. It is my hope that we can take forward the Cardiff City Deal in this way - but on a scale that will benefit not only people in Cardiff, but across the capital region.

The recovery is gathering pace right across Wales and in Cardiff we have a unique opportunity. The task now is to bring together the private sector, the Welsh Government and those councils which make up the Cardiff Capital Region.

Across the UK, City Deals are delivering major investment, clearing the way for new infrastructure projects and setting a clear strategic vision for growth. I don't want to see Wales being left behind.

– Stephen Crabb MP, Secretary of State for Wales

Digital sector 'employs 24,000' in Wales

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Welsh Government says Wales is punching above its weight in the digital sector.

It says, between 2010 and 2013, digital start ups grew by 87% above the UK average of 53%.

Today more then 2,00 people will gather for the Digital 2015 conference. Speakers from Google, Microsoft and Airbus are attending.

Wales is punching above its weight on the world stage in terms of digital innovation, and I look forward to welcoming the key digital leaders innovators and influencers from the national technology scene to Wales.

– Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
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