Tidal barrage visitor centre all set to open

The company behind a £300 million tidal energy scheme off Fleetwood will open its public information centre and head office in the town within two weeks.

Friday, 25th November 2016, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:19 pm
Bob Long and Peter Stubbs from Natural Energy Wyre Ltd

Natural Energy Wyre (NEW) began leasing the premises, on the corner of Victoria Street and Albert Street, in October last year.

The premises needed more repair work than expected, which caused delays, but this week NEW confirmed the centre will open on Friday December 9.

News of the official opening comes at a time when the company is awaiting the publication of a review of tidal energy which has recently been conducted by former energy minister Charles Hendry.

Bob Long, managing director of NEW, hopes this may give the company the green light to construct the first tidal power scheme in the UK.

He said: “We are moving forward in a positive way. The new office will be home to the many specialist consultants employed by Natural Energy Wyre and will be fronted by a public area where specific features of the future project will be displayed for residents, schools and colleges to visit.”

And speaking after last week’s British Hydropower Association annual conference in Glasgow, Mr Long said his team was busy preparing all aspects of the project before submitting it for planning.

He said: “Heavy rain and snow this winter could cause extensive flood damage, like last winter.

“This could be managed in future years by the tidal hydro electric project across the Wyre estuary.

“The six giant underwater turbines can pump out flood-water six times as fast as the rainwater enters the river.

“It could protect villages besides the River Wyre from the kind of floods which caused £2.6 million of damage last December.”