BREAKING NEWS: Government rejects chance to extend Thoresby Colliery life

Thorsby Colliery.
Thorsby Colliery.

Thoresby Colliery now looks certain to close this year after the Government rejected a £338m bid to extend its life until 2018.

In a written statement to parliament Matthew Hancock, business secretary, said a state aid funding bid to keep Thoresby, and Kellingley Colliery in South Yorkshire, open for another three years ‘is not affordable and does not represent value for money to the taxpayer’.

He added: “I know how important UK Coal mines are for the communities in which they are based, and that their closure will affect many people.

“But having carefully considered the case for providing significant additional funding, we have concluded that committing public sector funding on the scale necessary to extend the company’s closure plan by three years is not affordable and does not represent value for money to the taxpayer.”

Almost 200 jobs are thought to have been lost already with the rest - between 300 and 400 - expected to be gone by the summer.

UK Coal announced a year ago that they needed tens of millions of pounds to stave off insolvency, after denying they were in trouble.

Since then union officials had battled to put together a package to save the pit, which is the last deep mine left in Nottinghamshire.

UK Coal blamed the continuously low coal price over recent years, thanks in part to the success of fracking in the US.

Combined with the strong pound against the dollar, they say it has made it impossible to remain.