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Liverpool seeks project director to lead Mersey tidal barrage

New Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram will appoint a project director to push forward a potential tidal power project in the Mersey estuary.

Mr Rotheram said his office would be reviewing all historic studies and data into a potential tidal energy project in the Mersey, and also invited potential funder and partners to come forward to bid for further feasibility studies.

He added that he would appoint a project director to bring the scheme forward as part of his ambition to make Liverpool a carbon-neutral city region by 2040.

At a speech at the Infrastructure Investment Conference in Milton Keynes, Mr Rotheram said: “For decades, the task of harnessing the enormous tidal power of the River Mersey as a source of renewable energy has been simply consigned to the too difficult and complicated box.

“A Mersey Barrage would be a source of green energy, a stimulus to employment and investment, and a project with massive transformational potential.”

He added that new mayoral and devolved powers, including the ability to create a mayoral development corporation, a new spatial strategy and a single investment fund, would help to bring the project forward.

“This is simply an opportunity that cannot be squandered or put on the backburner,” he said.

“Bringing forward a new business and logistical plan for a Mersey tidal barrage will be one of the major priorities of my mayoral administration.”

Under devolved powers, the new metro mayors have access to a £900m, 30-year investment fund to use across areas which include strategic planning, compulsory purchase powers, investments into the local road network, bus franchising and smart ticketing.

Mayors will be able to set up mayoral development corporations and manage the retention of business rates across each of their regions.

Mr Rotheram, formerly MP for Liverpool Walton, also reiterated the city’s support for Northern Powerhouse Rail, which was also backed in the Conservative manifesto.

He called for the project to focus on a fast rail connection between Liverpool and Manchester initially, which he described as a “compelling economic and logical case”.

The mayor reiterated the city’s commitment to major infrastructure projects by singling out the £400m Liverpool2 container port and the ongoing Mersey Gateway bridge.

Client Peel Ports this week confirmed a sinkhole at the Liverpool2 project would be repaired by August, with Bam Nuttall currently undertaking remedial works after defects were discovered in February this year.

Other infrastructure projects in the city include a new £50m cruise terminal in the city centre, with Ramboll appointed as lead engineer on the scheme in May this year.

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