Boss of £300m barrage says scheme is on

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The company behind Wyre’s proposed tidal barrage has expressed its confidence the scheme will progress – and bring major benefits to Fleetwood.

Bob Long, a director of Natural Energy Wyre Ltd (NEW), says the key step forward came last summer when the company was granted exclusivity rights to build a tidal barrage across the River Wyre, after a deal with the Duchy of Lancaster.

Although there is another tidal energy project being proposed for the River Wyre by Wyre Tidal Energy, Mr Long says he has no doubts about the progress of the barrage scheme, which is set to cost £300m.

He said: “An exclusive arrangement with the Duchy of Lancaster last year secured NEW’s position, while it sought the funding to carry our survey work, costing literally millions of pounds.

“No funder will contemplate the risk without this type of arrangement in place.

“Any talk of two similar schemes may cause confusion and possibly make investors nervous. But it’s worth reiterating that the low-head turbine generating system that NEW will employ on the Wyre Barrage, is tried and tested technology, and guaranteed by the biggest names in the business.”

He added: “At £300m for the project cost, it represents one of the largest single investments Fleetwood has ever experienced and should create enough impact to turn the town’s fortune in a positive direction.”

Mr Long added that in July last year, the company entered into negotiations with a potential development partner, and concluded the arrangement this week.