THE UK Government has announced new funding for Scotland’s tidal stream industry after months of pressure from the SNP.

Speaking in the Commons during PMQs, Boris Johnson said £20 million of ringfenced investment would be made available in the upcoming Contract for Difference funding round.

However, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has pointed out that the cash falls far short of the £71m called for by the industry. The MP said the announcement “does not go anywhere near far enough to ensure tidal stream energy can reach its full potential”.

READ MORE: PMQs: Ian Blackford asks Boris Johnson if he will quit

Johnson made the surprise announcement in response to SNP MP Alan Brown, who asked the Prime Minister if he would risk losing out on high-skilled jobs by failing to provide the money requested by sector. Responding, the Conservative leader said the £20m coming was “not to be sniffed at”.

Blackford called on the Treasury to increase the financial support, saying: "Tidal has the potential to be a major Scottish success story and a key part of Scotland's renewable energy revolution - but it can only properly flourish if the UK government delivers the scale of funding required. The UK Government must stop hindering this vital green industry.

The National:

"The Chancellor must increase the budget to at least £71million so world-leading Scottish companies aren't restricted in their ambitions. This change of heart must also mark the beginning of a series of U-turns for the UK government - and next up must be an urgent U-turn on the decision to cancel investment in Scotland's carbon capture project."

His comment on carbon capture refers to the UK Government’s failure to back Project Acorn in Aberdeenshire, a scheme which was hoped to capture around 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year to be stored in a depleted North Sea gas field.

Instead, two projects in England were selected in the first funding round – with the second phase not due until the next decade at the earliest.

Project Acorn has now been named as a “reserve” site by the UK Government.