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Green light for £60 million Pembrokeshire marine energy project

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A £60 million marine energy project that will help tackle climate change while reviving Pembrokeshire’s economy in the wake of Covid-19 has been given the green light.

The UK Government and Welsh Government have now approved the business case for the Pembroke Dock Marine project, which is expected to generate £73.5 million a year to the Swansea Bay City Region’s economy.

Pembroke Dock Marine is led by the private sector, with support from Pembrokeshire County Council. The project is expected to generate more than 1,800 jobs in the next 15 years.
The project is made up of four elements:

·         The Marine Energy Test Area within the Milford Haven Waterway led by Marine Energy Wales, enabling technology developers to test their marine energy devices close to their base of operation

·         The largest facility of its kind in the world, a 90 square kilometre Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone delivered by Wave Hub Limited that will enable the deployment of future energy generating technologies, including floating wind

·         Marine Energy Engineering Centre of Excellence – a technology, innovation and research centre delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult

·         Redevelopment of land at Pembroke Dock, led by the Port of Milford Haven, to deliver the infrastructure needed by the industry as it continues to mature

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire Council, said

“The impact of Covid-19 has further heightened the importance of Pembroke Dock Marine, so the project’s approval is very welcome news for Pembrokeshire’s residents and businesses.

“Worth £73.5 million a year, Pembroke Dock Marine will also make our economy more resilient in future by transforming Pembrokeshire and the City Region as a whole into a global example of best practice for zero carbon, marine energy innovation.

“With phase one of the Marine Energy Test Area having already opened last year, we now stand ready and wholly committed to accelerate working with our partners to deliver the project. This project will place Pembrokeshire and the City Region at the heart of a growing global industry, helping further raise the region’s profile as a place to do business and invest in.”

Andy Jones, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, said: “This is an exciting step – not just for Pembrokeshire and the region but also for our economy, our communities and our environment as we work towards net zero decarbonisation targets.

“As well as having application across other blue economy industries, Pembroke Dock Marine will create the right conditions to support the growth of the marine energy industry.

“Developers, who are already attracted by Pembrokeshire’s energy resources and high-skill supply chain, will benefit from Pembroke Dock Marine’s drive to maximise innovation and operational efficiencies as they seek to drive down the cost of marine energy. It will also act as a foundation project that will support the growth of new initiatives in the region.

“I am personally delighted that Pembroke Dock will be the home of this new industry. With a history of supporting the nation in times of need, Pembroke Dock will be at the heart of a new globally important industry.”

Lee Waters, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said: “This announcement signals a significant step forward for the Swansea Bay City Deal. It also clearly demonstrates our commitment to the development of a Centre of Excellence for marine technology here in Wales.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our economy and projects such as Pembroke Dock Marine will be key in returning us to the economic growth we were seeing before the virus.

“As a Welsh Government, we will continue to work with partners to deliver the City Deal for the benefit of the region and its people.”

Commenting on the news that the business case has been signed off for the Pembroke Dock Marine project, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Member of the Welsh Parliament, Angela Burns MS said

“I am delighted that the Welsh and UK Government have given the go ahead to this project which is fantastic news for our area at a time when Covid-19 is causing such economic uncertainty.

“The project will deliver the perfect mix of providing jobs, sustainable energy and the growth of a centre of excellence for marine energy generation along the Haven waterway.

“I look forward to hearing more about these plans in the coming months and congratulate the Councils, Welsh and UK Government teams for their collaborative approach to enable these projects to move forward.”

David TC Davies, UK Government Minister for Wales, said: “As we look to bounce back economically from the coronavirus pandemic, the development of clean energy projects will help to drive a green and resilient economic recovery and create new jobs.

“Pembroke Dock Marine is an important development in the progress of the Swansea Bay City Deal which will enable the wider region to benefit from the financial investment and diversity of projects within the scheme, as well as from the opportunities a low-carbon economy will bring in future.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee, said: “This is great news for Pembrokeshire, the region and our City Deal.

“More projects are expected to receive final approval soon, which will be hugely important in helping our economy to rebound following the coronavirus pandemic.”

Pembroke Dock Marine is the third Swansea Bay City Deal project to be approved, following on from the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District, and the Canolfan S4C Yr Egin digital and creative hub at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen.

The business case approval means Pembroke Dock Marine can now start accessing the £18 million of funding that the UK Government and Welsh Government have already released the City Deal programme as a whole.
A further £18 million of City Deal programme funding will soon be secured once the City Region has met all recommendations arising from reviews into the City Deal, with detailed work on-going.

The £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal is being funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector.

Pembroke Dock Marine is seeking £28 million from the City Deal programme in coming years, which will help leverage a further £32 million of public and private funding.

The Swansea Bay City Deal programme is led by Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Heath Board.

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All people eligible for vaccination will get theirs by end of July

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PEOPLE eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will get theirs by the end of July, the Health Minister has said.

Wales achieved its target of getting everyone in the first four priority groups vaccinated by the middle of February and is now working on offering the vaccine to those in groups 5 to 9.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with severe or profound learning disabilities or with a mental illness will be among priority group 6.

Mr Gething said that they were would make sure that no one is left behind.

The latest figures from Public Health Wales show that 878,506 people had received their first dose of the vaccine.

59,279 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We have achieved our first milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups vaccination by mid-February.

“We are now making progress in achieving our next milestone, which is to offer the vaccine to all individuals in priority groups 5 to 9.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with a severe/profound learning disability and individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment, should be invited for vaccination as part of priority group 6.

“There are challenges with identifying individuals within these groups, particularly given the JCVI language is not generally in use in Wales, and we are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind. Today we have published guidance on identifying eligible individuals in these groups and on how to support them to take up their vaccine offers.

“The JCVI has also said that some of our invaluable unpaid carers should be included in priority group 6.

“Today we have also published guidance on identifying those unpaid carers eligible for vaccine prioritisation and the process around this. I am grateful to the national carers’ organisations for their support with this work.”

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Council want your help to keep Pembrokeshire active

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is asking residents to give their views on local walking and cycling routes.

The Council aims to make journeys on foot and by bicycle easier, safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

In order to design a network that works for all, the Council would like to get the views of as many people as possible, particularly those who don’t currently walk or cycle. This will help ensure the routes built for walking and cycling work for the whole community.

The consultation focuses on the main towns and villages in Pembrokeshire which have been selected by Welsh Government as the designated localities in the County. These are:

  • Fishguard & Goodwick
  • Haverfordwest
  • Johnston
  • Milford Haven
  • Neyland
  • Pembroke Dock
  • Pembroke
  • Tenby
  • Saundersfoot
  • Narberth

Pembrokeshire Council is currently undertaking an Active Travel Network Map consultation (ATNM) which will run in 3 stages

Consultation 1: Residents can take part in the consultation exercise online, hosted by Commonplace at https://Pembrokeshire.commonplace.is/

The interactive map allows participants to flag issues, problems and successes on a plan of the active travel settlement and add comments. Such points could be for example, a pavement that is too narrow or a newly built cycle route that is regarded as a success.

The first stage of the consultation will close on 31 st March 2021.

Consultation 2: Following this, the second step of the consultation will see the Council share the initial findings and ask people what they think of the plans
proposed as a result of the feedback received.

Consultation 3: The third stage of the consultation will give members of the public a final say on the Active Travel Network Maps before they are sent to Welsh Government for approval. These maps will have been produced taking into account public feedback and ideas from consultations 1 and 2.

By upgrading facilities and creating new walking and cycling routes, the Council plans to make Active Travel the popular choice for local journeys, to increase the attractiveness of local communities as places to live and work, improve health and well-being, and help tackle air pollution.

Cllr Phil Baker, Pembrokeshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “This consultation exercise will produce an Active Travel Network Map which will be a plan of routes the Council will use to inform where improvements to walking and cycling should be made in Pembrokeshire.

“It will help to make journeys on foot or by bicycle easier and safer for everyone, particularly those who don’t currently walk or cycle often and people who use mobility aids and will build on the increased level of walking and cycling that we have seen over the last 12 months during the pandemic.”

See more information on Active Travel at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/fitness-and-well-being/active-travel

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MoD called after suspected ordnance found on Tenby beach

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THE MoD had to be called to Tenby last Friday, February 19, after a member of the public found a suspected piece of ordnance on the beach.

The person attended Tenby Police Station at 5:30pm on the previous day having found the item.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “The item was collected by the MoD the following morning.”

A spokesperson for the MoD added: “An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Ashchurch Troop was contacted by local police in Tenby just after 6pm on February 17.

“After analysis of the one piece of ordnance that had been handed in no further action was taken.

“All further enquiries about this matter should be forwarded to Dyfed Powys Police.”

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