Gateway could connect Galloway to Cumbria

Plans have been drawn up for a multi-million pound tidal energy project that would directly connect Galloway to Cumbria.

The plan forms part of an estimated £12 billion project by North West Energy Squared (NWE2) who have proposed the creation of six ‘tidal gateways’ to cross estuaries throughout the north west of England.

The organisation claim that the gateways would generate power, create jobs and improve transport links for everyone as they would run dual carriageway roads on top of the gateways,

The gateway would connect Galloway to Workington on the west-coast of Cumbria, crossing the Solway Firth.

To harness the power of the tide, turbines would be built into the crossing from Workington to near Castle Douglas that would be visable from shore.

Chairman Alan Torevell said the whole project could generate enough affordable green energy to power more than five million homes for 120 years.

He added: “Solway is important, because it is the biggest potential producer of electricity, perhaps 10million MWh p.a, enough for over 2 million homes.

“It should also provide about 8,000 jobs , half on each side of the estuary, and by improving connectivity increase permanent economic activity in two areas, north Cumbria and south west Scotland.

“This should be further improved by greater access to Cairnryan , a major route for goods, and other traffic to Northern Ireland.”

NWE2 claim that the whole project will create around 20,000 construction jobs as well as high value jobs particularly in engineering.

They have estimated that by majorly improving road communications along the north west coast, there will be a significant rise in tourism and leisure opportunities.

There will also be a gross value of over £1.25 billion added to the local and Uk economies.

As a result of the tidal gateways there is potential to help mitigate against future storm surges and flooding.

It’s thought that the gateway will cut the journey time down from 137 miles to only 67 miles.

If funding can be secured and plans go ahead construction work would begin across the Solway in 2022, it is estimated.

Other tidal gateways have been proposed to cross the Dee, Mersey and Ribble estuaries as well as Morecambe Bay.

If all the proposed tidal gateways went ahead there would be a direct road connecting the coast of North Wales to Galloway, running through the length of England’s west coast.

NWE2 say the north west is the perfect location to help future energy generation needs and demands as it boast the full spectrum of energy generation technologies.

West Cumbria has one of Europe’s largest nuclear energy centres and at 9.4 percent it is the third largest generator of renewable energy in the UK.

With 70.5 percent, wind is the main contributor in the region with landfill gas at 17.9 percent. This equates to 14 percent and 13.4 percent of the UK total.