A council in North Wales has backed plans for a £7bn tidal lagoon scheme along the Denbighshire coast.
Denbighshire County Council backed a motion of support for a proposed 19-mile barrage which would include turbines to generate electricity from the movement of the tides.
The motion was put forward by Welsh Conservative councillor Brian Jones. Following the council vote, a group of councillors from the authority will lobby the Welsh and UK governments to back the project on behalf of a private company, which was not named.
Jones said that he had seen the business case and estimated that 5,000 construction jobs would be generated as part of the scheme, including significant benefits to the tourism industry in Wales.
He added that by supporting the motion Denbighshire would “put a marker in the sand” about being forward thinking.
He said: “If this is passed through, it will put us on the starting blocks. I believe it enhances in a small way our climate change strategy, in that we are also looking outside the box.”
Independent councillor and leader of the council Hugh Evans said: “There will be a facility to control the tides. I have seen indicative costs of around £7bn, and given the national significance of such a scheme, this council will not be the decision-maker.
“That will stand with the national government. That said, we do have a key and an important role in how this project will progress.”
He added that the neighbouring council at Conwy also had a team looking into the scheme and confirmed their support towards it.
In March 2021, the Welsh government launched a market engagement exercise to gauge interest among financiers, developers and contractors to work on a future tidal scheme, which revealed strong support.
In 2018, a £1.3bn tidal lagoon project in Swansea bay was cancelled over financial concerns.