York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire potash mine to 'transform' economy

Proposed mine at Whitby in North Yorkshire Image copyright SIRIUS MINERALS
Image caption The mine would be built on land near Whitby

A proposed £1.7bn potash mine would transform North Yorkshire's economy, two councils have claimed.

Ryedale District Council and Scarborough Borough Council said they "wholeheartedly" backed the project.

Developer Sirius Minerals wants to mine on land near Whitby and build a 23-mile (37km) tunnel to a processing plant in Teesside.

The North York Moors National Park Authority will consider the planning application on 30 June.

The councils' claims come despite a report, published earlier this month, suggesting the five-year construction phase of the mine would cost the area's tourism industry £10m a year.

However, the Conservative-controlled authorities said the mine represented the biggest inward investment in North Yorkshire for decades and would be "critical" in helping diversify the area's economy.

'Huge opportunity'

Scarborough Borough Council's leader, Derek Bastiman, said: "We recognise the significant impact it would have on transforming the short and long-term economic prospects of our communities through the creation of new jobs, supplier chain opportunities and inward investment, both during construction and once operational."

Chris Fraser, chief executive of Sirius, said the mine would create at least 1,000 permanent jobs.

"When it is at full speed this project will boost the economy of North Yorkshire by 10%," he claimed.

Linda Cowling, leader of Ryedale District Council, said the mine was "a huge opportunity to grow the economy".

She also said it would offer opportunities to young people enabling them "to forge a career and remain in the district where they grew up".

Potash is a salt which contains potassium and is usually used in fertilisers.

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