Two coal mines to close as government refuses aid

Two of the last three UK coal pits are to close by the end of the year. Energy Minister Matthew Hancock confirmed the government would not provide £338 million of […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Two of the last three UK coal pits are to close by the end of the year.

Energy Minister Matthew Hancock confirmed the government would not provide £338 million of taxpayers’ cash which would have kept the mines open until 2018.

UK Coal had asked for the money for the mines at Kellingley (pictured) in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Hancock said committing public sector funding to extend the closure by three years “is not affordable and does not represent value for money to the taxpayer”.

“The £338m requested approximates to a cost of more than £75,000 per UK Coal employee per year over the three year closure plan,” he added.

Both pits are now set to close by the end 2015, which is estimated to affect around 1,300 jobs.

UK Coal recently also asked for an extra funding of £10 million to keep its existing managed closure plan for 2015 on track, which will be supported by the government.

The decision leaves only one deep mine in the UK – at Hatfield in South Yorkshire.