Severn Estuary tidal lagoon funding bid from four councils

An artist's impression of how the lagoon in Swansea could look A tidal lagoon is currently planned for Swansea Bay

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Efforts are being made to secure a £3m grant for a tidal lagoon project in the Severn Estuary.

Bristol City is leading the scheme and, along with Sedgemoor, West Somerset and Cardiff councils, will table a bid to the European Union this summer.

The tidal lagoon project comes after the £25bn tidal barrage proposal was shelved by the government last year.

The councils hope building a tidal lagoon will create valuable local expertise of the technology involved.

'Geographic anomaly'

A tidal lagoon works by isolating a large area of water with a concrete wall which houses a series of turbines.

Electricity is produced as tidal water flows through the turbines four times a day.

Bristol City Council has not given an estimate of the final cost of the project but said it would be paid for through a combination of private and public money.

The £3m grant would be used to carry out feasibility studies and gain a clearer estimate of the cost of the project and the size of the lagoon required.

Bill Edrich, from Bristol City Council said: "We've got this great geographic anomaly which is the second highest tidal range in the world and the highest tidal range with over a million people on both sides of the estuary.

"Let's use that to our best advantage."

The tidal lagoon project differs from the previous Severn barrage proposal which involved building an 11-mile (18km) wall between Lavernock Point near Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, and Brean near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

Last September the UK government refused to commit to the Severn barrage proposal due to serious concerns about the environmental impact.

There are also efforts being made by a Cheltenham-based Tidal Lagoon Power to build a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay with the aim of it generating power by 2018.

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