Published: October 31, 2012
Lord Heseltine says Severn Barrage would 'boost the UK economy'

Lord Heseltine said on Wednesday (October 31st) that plans for a £30bn barrage across the Severn estuary potentially offers "extraordinary economic regeneration".

In a report on the economy commissioned by Downing Street, the former deputy prime minister said a barrage offers a possible long-term UK energy source.

Supporters say the barrage, from the Vale of Glamorgan to Brean Down near Burnham-On-Sea, would provide 5% of the UK's electricity.

Lord Heseltine, a former Conservative minister, has challenged the UK government to take bolder action to stimulate the economy.

In a section on energy, he says: "It goes without saying that a secure and affordable supply of energy is essential to everything we do," adding that "the Severn Barrage offers the possibility of both a long term source of energy and extraordinary economic regeneration".

He continues: "It is widely accepted that over the next 10 to 15 years up to £200bn of investment may be needed to meet both levels of demand for energy and our carbon targets."

"For the country's energy needs to be met, the government needs a clear and consistent long term energy policy that indicates what our projected needs will be and how they will be met, by when and by whom."

The UK government has previously rejected barrage plans after a two-year feasibility study found the cost could be up to £34bn, double the initial estimate.

However, earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron instructed officials to look into the plans.


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