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Calls to support UK coal industry fall on deaf ears

World Coal,

UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has refused a request from UK Coal and Hatfield Colliery for £300 million of state aid, which means, in all probability, the UK’s last three remaining deep coal mines are set to close by the end of the year.

UK Coal, which runs Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire and Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire, along with Hatfield Colliery in South Yorkshire, had been seeking government grants to allow them to delay closing until 2018.

Cable said the funding did not make economic sense, and a spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills told City A.M.: “We must bear in mind value for taxpayer money.”

Cable has ignored the voices of many who attended a rally in support of the UK coal industry last week. Workers, MPs, activists and union leaders marched through Knottingley and held a rally at Kellingley Social Club.

Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, who attended the strike, said the government was “trying to kill off the [UK mining industry] by stealth.”

Cooper said: we need urgent action now before it is too late, and before the major redundancies in April. The Government should be working with UK Coal, private investors, the power companies and Europe to get a package in place including state aid to keep the [mines] open.”

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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