THORESBY LATEST: Petition to save colliery is signed by almost 1,000

Thoresby Colliery.
Thoresby Colliery.

Almost 1,000 people have signed a petition, launched by Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Sherwood, Léonie Mathers, in just three days - calling on the Government to save Thoresby Colliery.

UK Coal, which owns Thoresby, hit financial difficulties earlier this year, and has been seeking investment.

The Government is reported to have loaned £10 million to the struggling company, but only to wind production down before closing the pit in the Autumn of next year.

Léonie is calling for the Government to explore additional options, including state aid, following confirmation last week from the European Commission that they would fast track an application if the Government decided to make one.

Léonie Mathers said: “This Government-brokered deal would be about the closure of Thoresby, not securing a long-term future. The Government has ignored the long-term options in favour of giving a commercial loan – this is bad news for national energy security and it’s bad news for the local economy.

“There’s still time for the Government to change their mind and choose to invest just a fraction of the £700 million the Treasury took from the Miners’ Pension Fund surplus just two months ago to secure a future for the employees of Thoresby Colliery and the UK coal mining industry.”

Chancellor George Osborne visited Thoresby in November, when he said he’d discussed with management how life at the pit could be extended and how the Government could play a part in securing the mine’s future.