DONCASTER has been handed bright news with the announcement of 70 jobs and a monthly fall in unemployment.
Coal tip restoration business RecyCoal has announced the creation of new jobs after being given planning permission by Doncaster Council to go ahead with a coal recovery and restoration scheme at the site of the borough’s former Rossington Colliery.
It comes as the borough saw a slight fall in unemployment between March and February.
The site earmarked by RecyCoal includes the Rossington colliery spoil heap, which will be reclaimed and restored to public open space ‘for biodiversity enhancement and public recreation’ over the next five years.
The company will clean up more than 13 million tonnes of colliery spoil and recover 950,000 tonnes of coal over four years for electricity generation.
RecyCoal will also use the site to train new employees for its growing business in the UK as well as in the USA, Australia, Poland, South Africa and Indonesia. Restoration of the site will form part of local public open space providing opportunities for nature conservation and public recreation.
A variety of natural habitats will be created. Woodland areas will cover around 75 acres with the planting of more than 70,000 trees. Grasslands will cover 125 acres and wetlands will occupy around 25.
Other benefits of the scheme include a memorial garden, an area for allotments for local people and land that will revert to agricultural use.
In order to allow access for public recreation, five miles of footpaths and bridleways will also be created across the site.
Tom Allchurch, RecyCoal’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted our plan for Rossington has gained planning approval and we look forward to delivering this important scheme which will significantly enhance the local environment.
“The use of Rossington as a base for training new employees will bring further opportunities to the local economy.”
Don Valley MP Caroline Flint, who represents Rossington, was delighted by the news. She said: “This is very positive for Rossington and Doncaster. The Rossington Colliery site is at the heart of an important new development for Doncaster, and RecyCoal’s plan is great for jobs but good for the environment, and bringing coal back into use that would otherwise have been wasted.”
Figures released yesterday showed that, since February, the number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance in the borough was marginally down - by 32 people. The figure has increased in Doncaster North constituency, but fallen in Doncaster Central and Don Valley. But Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton was concerned the jobless figure in the borough is still 1,537 people higher than the same time in 2011, at 11,220.
She said: “The Government is failing to properly tackle the jobs crisis here in Doncaster.
“The number of people signing on has increased dramatically in the last 12 months. Young people are suffering particularly badly with hundreds still out of work or training.
“David Cameron should be taking bold action to create more jobs here in Doncaster - instead it seems he prefers to cut taxes for millionaires.”
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “The figures are a step in the right direction but we still have a long way to go. We are pushing ahead with our strategy to promote investment and new jobs in the private sector and support people currently without work to take up those jobs.I am particularly encouraged overall employment is now growing, despite reductions in the public sector.”