Plan to scrap £1.3bn renewable energy scheme could affect GE jobs in Rugby

The government's plan to scrap a £1.3 billion renewable energy proposal which could have secured jobs at Rugby's GE Energy has been labelled "appalling".

Friday, 1st June 2018, 3:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 10:28 am
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Several of Rugby's politicians had argued the Swansea tidal lagoon scheme could have secured the future of GE workers in Rugby - at a time when restructuring threatens around 500 GE jobs in the town.

Debbie Bannigan, Rugby Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate, said: "It's not only bad news for Wales, the future of renewable energy and the steel industry, it's bad news for high quality jobs in Rugby and for our nationally-significant engineering capability that this government is allowing to dissolve away.

"With jobs at risk at GE, where a substantial part of the Tidal Lagoon technology was expected to be developed, Mark Pawsey has failed once again to lobby effectively for his constituency."

Mark Pawsey previously told the Advertiser that he used a session of a government inquiry into the viability of the scheme to highlight the skill of Rugby's GE workers and argue the plans could secure the future of skilled jobs in the town.

Dr Bannigan said: "I'm be calling on Mark Pawsey to stand with me to demand that the government re-thinks this appalling decision, which is based on spurious economic arguments, before it's too late and the engineering skills we need to make it happen are gone for good."

The lagoon proposal, put forward by Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), would have seen the construction of a six-mile sea wall with underwater turbines being used to generate electricity.

The plans had received £200 million of provisional backing, but it is thought government ministers did not agree with the level of taxpayers' subsidy TLP was requesting.