Tidal power in Poole is generating interest as plans progress to harness the power of the sea.

Poole Tidal Energy Partnership is seeking support from the community to bid for funds and find out if electricity could be produced from the harbour.

Bournemouth University students have now jumped aboard and are helping to promote the renewable energy scheme.

“It is our aim to have PTEP on the tips of the tongues of the civilians of Poole,” said Kayleigh Taylor, of Futureadapt, a team of business studies students.

“We want them to know who we are, what we do, and be able to recognise us instantly from our brand,” she said.

Between 30,400 and 45,000 cubic metres of water enters and leaves Poole Harbour on the tides and that force could be used to feed social housing, power street lighting, the hospital or be fed into the national grid.

“There are innovative devices out there which can trap some of that energy, balancing alongside the valued leisure, wildlife and commercial activities of Poole,” said PTEP director Andy Hadley.

The partnership had applied for funding from Energyshare but missed out after getting to the top 10 out of 100 shortlisted applications, out of more than 800. Nearly 500 local people are backing the project and the intention is to bid for money from other sources.

“One is EU funding, aimed at coastal communities in Southern England,” said Mr Hadley. “We have made contact with several communities in France, with a view to exchanging ideas, and maybe attracting grants.”

The students have designed a logo and promotional material including posters, banners and business cards. They have pages on social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and a website ptep.co.uk.

PTEP will be running an event at Poole’s Dolphin Shopping Centre on Sunday January 15 to talk about the project and answer any enquiries and the students aim to visit primary schools and get youngsters enthusiastic about renewable energy.