28/11/2003

£52m package secures 4,000 mining jobs

Over 4,000 coal-mining jobs in the UK are to be secured and 300 jobs created as part of a £52 million investment package for 12 mines in England and south Wales.

Twelve projects at mines in Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and South Wales have been awarded up to 30% of their total costs for development projects as part of the new Coal Investment Aid scheme (CIA).

Coal Investment Aid was launched on 16 June 2003 releasing a total of up to £60 million to support eligible investment projects.

Energy Minister Stephen Timms said: "I am delighted to announce this substantial investment which will help to preserve and create jobs in our coal industry and help secure the future of mining to 2008 and beyond.

"The Coal Investment Aid scheme aims to unlock the potential of coal reserves which may otherwise remain unworked by providing a large chunk of the investment costs. If taken up, today's award winners will see a total investment of £175 million for the UK coal industry.

"Today's announcement demonstrates that, despite some difficult times in the past, there are encouraging signs for the future of the coal mining industry in the UK."

Successful applicants have until the end of February 2004 to accept these offers.

(gmcg)

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