Kellingley to close after government agrees £10 million loan
KELLINGLEY colliery is to close and 700 miners face redundancy in autumn next year after a government announcement on funds to help manage the pit's wind down.
Energy Minister Michael Fallon has confirmed the government will put forward a £10 million loan to owners UK Coal to help it manage the closure of both Kellingley and Thoresby mine in Nottinghamshire.
The government cash, together with private funds, will help UK Coal avoid immediate insolvency, his written statement to MPs said.
Unions had called for the government funds to be used to help keep the pit open until it returns to profit in the coming months, but their pleas have been turned down.
The Minister's statement said: "There is no value for money case for a level of investment that would keep the deep mines open beyond this managed wind-down period to Autumn 2015."
A Job Centre Plus Rapid Response Service would be available for the miners who will lose their jobs in the closure of Kellingley, he added.
He asked Commons speaker John Bercow for time to debate the proposals, saying it was madness to help the pits close down when they employ hundreds of people and provide a secure energy supply for the country.
He said: "I think that given the perilous financial situation that UK Coal finds itself in, the House should be granted an urgent debate so the whole House can look at all avenues that may be open for this industry. 1300 Jobs are on the line here, 700 of them at Kellingley Colliery in my constituency.
"It seems to me utter economic madness to oversee the closure of these two pits and we should be able to debate on the floor of this House all alternatives that for these pits including making sure that we have investigated all investment possibilities and looked at the possibility of potentially funding an employee led ownership structure, which has been achieved previously in the coal sector."