§ Lord Melchett
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What would be the cost at 1981 prices of the preferred inner barrage scheme on the Severn Estuary, and how many additional jobs (in terms of full-time jobs per year) would be created during the construction period of 15 years.
§ The Earl of Mansfield
On the assumptions set out in the Severn Barrage Committee's reportTidal Power from the Severn Estuary (published by HMSO as Energy Paper No.46),a copy of which is available in the Library, the direct construction costs, including an allowance for contingency and excluding interest during construction, would be approximately £6,270 million in December 1981 prices. These costs are subject to some uncertainty. Conversion of the costs assumed by the committee to December 1981 prices has been calculated using a weighted Baxter index (Bulletin of Construction Indices—Civil Engineering, published monthly by HMSO).
A preliminary assessment by the committee of the labour requirements suggests that a total workforce of around 21,000 for various periods of up to 10 years would be required directly for construction and supply of materials. Employment for a further 5–6,000 people could be created by the "multiplier effect" caused by the boost to the local economy. Further details of these estimates are given in paragraph 15.16–15.27 of Volume II of the committee's report.