Swansea’s £1.7bn Blue Eden project will have major benefits for local supply chain businesses and the city’s shops, restaurants, hotels and pubs.
That’s the view of Alan Brayley, Managing Director of AB Glass and President of the Swansea Bay Business Club, and Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of the Swansea Business Improvement District.
The Blue Eden project is being led by Bridgend-based DST Innovations and their business partners, with support from Swansea Council and Associated British Ports.
It includes a 9.5km tidal lagoon structure, a floating solar farm, a data centre, a high-tech battery manufacturing plant, a battery storage facility and many other features that will help place Swansea at the global forefront of renewable energy innovation.
Blue Eden will create over 2,500 permanent jobs and support a further 16,000 jobs across Wales and the UK, while creating additional jobs during its construction.
The project – being funded by the private sector – will be sited along an extensive area of land and water, to the south of the Prince of Wales Dock in the SA1 area of Swansea.
Russell Greenslade said: “As well as the jobs in Blue Eden facilities like the data centre and manufacturing plant, the scheme will also generate thousands of construction jobs while it’s built.
“As we’ve seen with the construction of the Copr Bay phase one district including the arena, this will have major benefits for local businesses because these workers will be spending money in the city’s shops, hotels, restaurants and pubs.
“The Blue Eden announcement is yet another major private sector vote of confidence in Swansea and our city’s businesses and people.”
Alan Brayley said: “Swansea and South West Wales as a whole has hundreds if not thousands of supply chain businesses that can hugely benefit from a project of Blue Eden’s magnitude.
“This will be another major boost to the local and regional economies, building on all the regeneration work already taking place that will ensure Swansea quickly recovers from the impact of the pandemic.
“Blue Eden will further raise Swansea’s profile not just across the UK but across the world as a whole as a city to invest in, which will in turn translate into even more jobs and opportunities for local people.”
Blue Eden will also include an ocean and climate change research centre, residential waterfront homes and about 150 floating, highly energy-efficient eco-homes anchored in the water.
The energy generated by the lagoon and solar farm will be used on site, but there is also scope for 32% of it to be exported onto the grid for the benefit of local residents and businesses. The amount of green energy consumed by the Blue Eden development will also save a significant amount of energy being taken from the grid in future.
The project would be delivered in three phases over 12 years. Subject to planning consent, Blue Eden work on site could start by early 2023.
(Lead image: DST)
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