Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed major plans for a £3.5bn investment in the Mersey tidal power project as part of Labour’s 'green industrial revolution' proposals to address the climate emergency and boost investment in the north of England.
The project will harness the power of the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay to produce clean, renewable energy to power up to a million homes, create thousands of jobs and contribute towards the UK’s zero-carbon economy. Labour has previously committed to net zero UK carbon emissions before 2050.
Corbyn pledged that the next Labour government would ramp up investment in green industries to power up the north and the Merseyside announcement forms part of Labour’s plans to tackle the north-south economic divide with a 'green industrial revolution' which aims to deliver 400,000 new jobs through schemes including the world’s biggest offshore windfarm in the North Sea.
Labour say their £250bn National Transformation Fund will be based in the north, to ensure that investment is focused in areas that have lost out under the Conservatives, including Crossrail for the North to upgrade the region’s rail infrastructure.
Corbyn said: “Reversing years of neglect of the towns and cities of the north under the Tories means rejecting the failed economic status quo and investing in our communities and industries of the future. Labour is looking to the future with plans to ramp up investment in exciting projects like the Mersey tidal power project, which will kick-start Labour’s green industrial revolution, power up the north and create thousands of new jobs. A Labour government will offer real change with the expansion of investment in green industries and the communities that the Conservatives have spent the past nine years holding back.”
Steve Rotheram, mayor of Liverpool city region, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the mersey tidal project and underlines Labour’s commitment to northern devolution. The River Mersey is our greatest natural asset and an incredible source of untapped, renewable energy. Our plans to harness the River Mersey has the potential to power up to one million homes, create thousands of good jobs for local workers and make our city region a world-leader in the field of sustainable energy. This commitment is further evidence that while the Tories have talked a good game about delivering a Northern Powerhouse, only the Labour Party is serious about rebalancing our economy and investing in major infrastructure in the north.”