York & North Yorkshire

'No state funds' for threatened Kellingley Colliery

Kellingley Colliery Image copyright PA
Image caption The mine is scheduled to close next year with the lost of 700 jobs

The business secretary has said giving government funds to keep a North Yorkshire coal mine open "wouldn't be good value for money".

However, Vince Cable said the government was proposing a £10m loan to avoid a sudden, "brutal closure" of Kellingley Colliery.

Last week the mine's owners UK Coal held talks with Energy Secretary Matthew Hancock about extra state aid.

The pit is scheduled to close in 2015, with the loss of 700 jobs.

UK Coal said it was discussing the terms of the £10m loan from the government to allow a "managed closure" of the mine and Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire.

Comments 'a disgrace'

Speaking during a visit to Yorkshire, Mr Cable said that the mines had "no long-term future unless very large amounts of taxpayers' money are involved".

He said: "Given the pressures on the government's budget and the fact that £100m could do a whole lot of other things supporting jobs in growth industries we've taken the view that wouldn't be good value for money."

Mr Cable's department is responsible for any decision on state aid for the mines.

Last month, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) dropped a plan to organise an employee buyout of the mine.

Chris Kitchen, from the NUM, described Mr Cable's comments as a "disgrace".

"We haven't even had UK Coal put in an application for state aid and he's already saying he is not in favour of it, " he said.

"We've been pushing for a state aid application to be put in over six months ago.

"Six months ago it would have been value for money for the taxpayer."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites