Mining firm UK Coal went into administration today in a move its boss says is the “only way” to save the business.
Although 350 jobs hit the dust, 2,000 will be saved with some restructuring of the mining assets.
This follows an enormous fire which ravaged the firm’s Daw Mill deep mine in March 2013 and it seems to have proved impossible to re-open the mine.
Auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers will deal with the administration, redistributing the remaining two deep mines and six surface mines and forming a new business from the firm’s two branches.
The firm’s top brass are clearly relieved they haven’t had to resort to liquidation, a prospect which was bandied about in May.
Kevin McCullough, chief executive of UK Coal said: “Today is very much a day of mixed emotions, but this is the best outcome that it was possible to achieve. Entering administration and the subsequent restructuring was the only way we could preserve any of the business… It means that this country can still produce coal on a reasonable scale.”
He added: “It may be a small industry, but when 40% of our energy still comes from coal it makes absolute sense to use as much British coal as possible to help keep energy bills from being even higher.”
Energy Minister Michael Fallon said the restructuring would put the company “on a stable footing for the future”‘ adding: “Our priority now must be to continue to support former Daw Mill workers into employment as soon as possible.”