A petition calling on David Cameron to rescue a £1bn green energy project has been launched by a regional daily.
The South Wales Evening Post has written to the Prime Minister, urging him to intervene after the company behind the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon announced it had cut nearly a fifth of its workforce.
The lagoon, which Mr Cameron has previously lent his support to, could generate the equivalent electricity used by 155,000 households for 120 years via 16 turbines.
But thus far the Department for Energy and Climate Change has not agreed a “contract for difference” with Tidal Lagoon Power for 35 years’ worth of subsidies, funded by consumers.
Some argue that the subsidies requested are too high, but without an agreement in place no building can start.
The Evening Post launched its ‘Don’t Sink It!’ campaign with an open letter from editor Jonathan Roberts to Mr Cameron on yesterday’s front page, pictured below.
The letter reads: “Dear Mr Cameron…
“The growing uncertainty over the future of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project is deeply concerning to the hundreds of thousands of people in this region who stand to benefit from a scheme that would, if delivered, transform the fortunes of South West Wales.
“These are not our words; they are yours.
“During your visit to the region in May of this year, you spoke warmly of this ‘world first’ energy scheme, offering encouragement, if not assurance, that it would indeed become a reality.”
It continues: “Today, we wish to take the opportunity to appeal directly to you, and urge you not to abandon this region and a population fully aware that its future and a golden new era stands at a precipice. As international interest in this scheme has scaled new heights, your Government has become tight-lipped. If good progress is being made behind the scenes then we urge you to bring it to the fore.
“And we urge you to consider the longer-term potential of tidal energy, not just here but around the UK and across the world.
“This impasse cannot continue for very much longer. A bold decision is needed, and we ask that you do not fail us now.”