Nottinghamshire County Council is seeking urgent talks with UK Coal, Government officials and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership over the threatened closure of the county’s last remaining deep coal mine.
UK Coal has announced that it will close Thoresby Colliery in Edwinstowe, unless it can secure investment from the Government. With investment, UK Coal says that the colliery would operate for at least 18 months.
The closure would result in the region of 600 job losses at the colliery as well as hitting suppliers, other local businesses and the wider community. The unemployment rate in the Mansfield Travel to Work Area, which includes Thoresby Colliery is 3.3 per cent - higher than the national average of 3 per cent. Other former coalfield communities such as Clipstone and Boughton have rates closer to 4.2 per cent.
Coun Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “UK Coal is still a large employer in Nottinghamshire. Closing Thoresby Colliery would have a devastating impact on nearby communities, where the unemployment rate and levels of deprivation are already above the national average.
“We are seeking urgent talks with partners in Government, the Local Enterprise Partnership and UK Coal to secure the immediate future of Thoresby Colliery and discuss the longer term future. I welcome the Prime Minister’s promise that the Government will do all it can to save UK Coal and keep Thoresby open.
“Coal still plays an important part in the UK’s energy mix. It would be crazy to damage the UK and Nottinghamshire economy by halting production of the plentiful stocks still available at Thoresby, in favour of increasing imports from elsewhere in the world.
“It is essential that we look further ahead too. While we must exhaust all the options to try and keep Thoresby open, if there is then no option other than closure, we will be asking the Government to provide assistance to all the partners for the retraining of employees, the creation of equivalent quality jobs and the successful redevelopment of the site.”