Local politicians in Rugby have criticised the government for cancelling a renewable energy plan worth £1.3 billion for the area. The funding could have secured around 500 jobs at GE Energy in Rugby as part of the tidal lagoon scheme in Swansea.
Restructuring programmes already in play are threatening more than 500 jobs at GE, with no obvious local alternatives for skilled workers in the renewable energy field.
The prospective Labour candidate for Rugby town, Debbie Bannigan, said that the news of the government's change of plan was bad for skilled jobs in Rugby as well as for the renewable energy industry and for Wales as a whole.
She explained that the region once had a nationally recognised capability in engineering, which the government was allowing to fade away by failing to offer necessary funding. She added that the Tidal Lagoon project at GE had been heavily anticipated and was due to provide continued employment to highly skilled local people within the town.
Tidal Lagoon Power put forward the original proposal for the tidal lagoon project, which requires several hundred employees within a range of expert roles. The project would have seen a sea wall built along six miles, generating clean energy through the use of underwater turbines.
A provisional backing of £200 million had been secured, but the government had a change of heart over the degree of taxpayer-funded subsidy that the TLP proposal required. Local politicians across parties have called on Theresa May to rethink her decision.
General Electric had already cut 1,100 jobs in its fossil fuel division before Christmas across Rugby and Stafford, saying that demand for coal and gas was falling in favour of clean and renewable energies.