Hatfield will be last deep mine after £338m funding deal refused

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Hatfield pit in Doncaster will be the UK’s only remaining deep coal mine after the Government refused to pay £338m to keep two others open.

Kellingley in West Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, will close later this year, affecting 1,100 jobs, some 700 in Yorkshire.

UK Coal Production had requested £338m for the ‘orderly closure’ of the two deep mines by 2018. About 400 staff are thought to be employed at the Thoresby pit, with 700 at Kellingley.

But business minister Matthew Hancock said that committing public sector finances on the scale necessary did not represent “value for money to the taxpayer”.

“The £338m requested approximates to a cost of more than £75,000 per UK Coal employee per year over the three year closure plan,” he added

A funding requirement of £10m to keep UK Coal’s existing managed closure plan for 2015 on track will receive government support, subject to conditions including state aid approval and support from other stakeholders.

Hancock said it would ensure the taxpayer avoided losses and liabilities that would fall to the public sector in the event of an uncontrolled insolvency.