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Preferred bidder named for part of Swansea Lagoon project

Credit: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc

Laing O’Rourke has been named as preferred bidder for the ~£200M contract to deliver the lagoon’s 410 metre turbine house and sluice structure block.

Developers say this part of the project will require up to 500 workers at peak construction, a substantial number of whom will be local to South Wales. Concrete, reinforcing and other materials will also be sourced locally.

Laing O’Rourke has named Arup as its lead design and engineering partner for the contract.

Announcing that Laing O’Rourke is joining the team is a major step forward for the project. As preferred bidder, their contribution over the next few months alongside General Electric and Andritz Hydro will be invaluable in preparing for delivery on site in 2016

– Andrew McNaughton, Tidal Lagoon Power

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Thousands of Valleys trees felled to tackle disease

More than 150,000 disease-infected larch trees are being felled at Cwmcarn Forest Drive in the South Wales Valleys.

Heavy machinery has damaged the track, which could cost millions of pounds to repair.

The move has been in the pipeline for several months, with the area shut to visitors while the work is taking place.

Natural Resources Wales says it's vital to stop the spread of the virus and that there will be at least a two-year felling period.

We have to fell it now because if we didn't, we'd end up with forests of dead trees in years to come. And those trees would be worthless. So by felling it now we're actually able to recover some of the value of the timber, and put that back into what is the public purse, in effect.

– Andy Schofield, Natural Resources Wales
A rare goshawk is nesting in the area and there are concerns over her environment.

But local action group Friends of Cwmcarn Forest Drive are concerned that the attraction will never be re-opened, with NRW yet to confirm when the closure will be lifted.

There are also concerns because a goshawk - a rare bird of prey - is nesting in one of the trees with her chicks.

There's a strong feeling of frustration in the community really that something so precious has been taken away, in the way that it's been done. Everything's been taken away from up there - all the sculptures, the playgrounds, the barbecues. And it all seems so final.

– Rob Southall, Friends of Cwmcarn Forest Drive
The larch trees were planted as pit props for the coal mines in the 1950s.

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