Case study: Arms Industry in the Clyde

The Clyde could be the global leader in wave, and possibly tidal stream, technology, because of its location and also the engineering skills and infrastructure that already exist through the various arms and engineering companies operating in the region.

Many of the companies making arms in the Clyde region also already make, or have the potential to make, vital parts for developing the wave power industry. The several thousand jobs that could be created in the wave and tidal industries in the Clyde would more than offset job losses from reducing UK military spending and enforcing stricter controls on arms exports.

If wave and tidal become more mature technologies, there is far bigger potential. The Carbon Trust estimates that the UK could capture 22% of the marine power market between 2010 and 2050, which could be worth a cumulative £76 billion.

The UK and Scottish governments should act urgently to get wave technology moving forward through the £200 million investment needed, and to target this at the Clyde region. This is half the cost of one of the Type 26 Frigates being built on the Clyde, and would create far more potential for jobs and exports.

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