Pit closures still affecting Derbyshire communities

Women marched through Chesterfield to support miners during the 1984-1985 strike.
Women marched through Chesterfield to support miners during the 1984-1985 strike.

Communities across north Derbyshire are still struggling 30 years after pit closures, new research shows.

The Sheffield Hallam University study found a “disturbing” situation for areas hit by the 1984 miners’ strike.

The report, commissioned by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), found places such as Chesterfield and Bolsover are still feeling the effects of poverty and unemployment.

In north Derbyshire’s coalfield communities, 7.6 per cent of people suffer from bad or very bad health – considerably higher than the national average of 5.6 per cent.

Poor health is underlined by the 7.9 per cent of people in the area who claim Disability Living Allowance.

In addition, the research shows there are just 61 jobs for every 100 people in the region’s coalfield areas – higher than the national average of 67.

Overall, 38 per cent of coalfield neighbourhoods in north Derbyshire are among the most deprived 30 per cent in Britain.

Professor Steve Fothergill, from the university and the leader of the research, said: “The miners’ strike may now be receding into history but the job losses which followed in its wake are still part of the everyday economic reality of most mining communities.

“The consequences are still all too visible in statistics on jobs, unemployment, welfare benefits and health.

“The evidence provides a compelling case that most of our coalfield communities still require support.”

Peter McNestry, chairman of the CRT, added: “The tough reality for coalfields residents is that these problems will not go away overnight.

“We have come some way in improving the situation but there is still a considerable deal of work to be done,” he added.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said it had given more than £100million to support the CRT since 1999.