L-R: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram
L-R: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram

Shadow Chancellor backs multi-billion pound Mersey tidal project

John McDonnell MP has announced his support of the Mersey tidal energy project.

The Shadow Chancellor was in Liverpool on Thursday (January 19) to talk about infrastructure investment with Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram.

The visit saw him weigh in on plans to harness the tidal power of the River Mersey – a project that has the potential to generate enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of a “significant proportion” of homes in Liverpool and further afield, according to its website.

The Shadow Chancellor said: “The future economic prosperity of this country is dependent on ensuring that we have the right infrastructure in place to ensure economic growth, which is why we have pledged to set up a National Investment Bank.

“Listening to Steve’s exciting plans to harness the power of the River Mersey to drive sustainable growth for city region it is clear that this is exactly the type of project that the National Investment Bank should be supporting.”

Steve Rotheram commented: “Here in the Liverpool City Region we have tremendous assets, including the River Mersey, which make us uniquely well-placed to become a world-leader in the field of sustainable energy.

“We are already home to a vibrant low-carbon sector which contributes £2bn to the local economy but with the right support we can use that as the platform to drive transformational change, which is why it is so important to receive this backing from the Shadow Chancellor.”

He added: “Clean, low-carbon energy production is the key to the future economic prosperity of our city region. Combining predictable and plentiful renewable energy with world-class digital connectivity will give us a unique competitive edge as a global investment destination.”

Work on the Mersey tidal scheme is now well underway.

In November, Mr Rotheram announced the appointment of Brent Cheshire – until recently UK chair of Danish power company Dong Energy, now trading as Ørsted – as the man to head up the project.

Mr Cheshire will spend the next 12 months setting out the business case for the multi-billion pound renewable energy project.

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