Rotheram appoints lead for River Mersey tidal power ambition

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has appointed former Dong Energy UK chairman Brent Cheshire to head up a potential tidal energy project in the River Mersey.

Cheshire will head up the region’s special purpose vehicle to bring forward a renewable energy project on the Mersey, and will work up a business case for the project over the next 12 months.

According to Rotheram, who outlined his ambitions for a tidal barrage on the Mersey in an interview with Place North West this year, it will be a “multi-billion-pound” project.

He added: “Devolution finally gives us the opportunity to deliver a project of this scale, and Brent provides us with the expertise, experience and leadership capability to turn vision into reality.”

A possible tidal energy project on the Mersey is one of the Mayor’s key policy pledges which he will outline at a speech today, marking six months since the mayoral election.

These include plans to build 25,000 homes across the city region “in the right places and with a variety of types and tenures”; adopting a “brownfield-first” approach to new housing developments by publishing a brownfield register; and making cross-river transport “easier and more affordable”.

The Mayor is also to outline plans to make the Liverpool region “the UK’s most digitally connected region”, with a six-month study to be commissioned to look at how the region can roll out fibre broadband. This will include plans for a direct connection for the City Region with a trans-Atlantic telecommunications cable that lands at Southport.

Roterham said: “If trains, docks and canals made us the gateway to the first industrial revolution, then world-class connectivity and a plentiful supply of predictable renewable energy can make us the digital gateway to the Fourth.

“Faster speed, greater capacity and green energy will not only enable us to grow our own digital and technology sectors, it will make us a magnet for investment for global companies wanting the best connections and a carbon neutral energy solution.”

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Poor old Steve, thrashing around for a purpose in his new job 6 months into it! The tidal power idea has been around for years but the cash never in place. Similar to Swansea Bay concept that as yet to lift off – if it was in London the scheme would have been built years ago. He still doesn’t seem to get that his role is strategic, laying the groundwork for delivery. His 10 point plan is largely old ideas that have been in the microwave again. Disappointing.

By John Smith

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