Hammer blow as coal bosses say Harworth won’t re-open

Harworth Colliery
Harworth Colliery

The final nail in the coffin of Harworth Colliery looks to have been hammered in place today by mining bosses.

UK Coal, which owns the mine which was mothballed in 2006, and was awaiting investment in a new coal seam, today said it would not re-open after a £10 million deal to close two other mines was agreed.

A spokesman for the struggling company said the chances of Harworth re-opening were now ‘next to nil’. The announcement comes just two days after UK Coal reported that the Government is investing £10 million in a deal which will see the closure of its pits by 2015. If a deal cannot be struck, the company faces immediate insolvency.

UK Coal spokesman Andrew Mackintosh said: “If the deal goes ahead in the coming days we will close down the two working deep mines and Harworth Colliery will not be re-opened as part of this deal.

“It’s with a very heavy heart that we now face an instant closing down with 2,000 job loses or a managed closing down over the next 18 months.”

Negotiations are under way between a number of stakeholders.

Harworth Colliery has been mothballed since 2006 and its future has been uncertain.

UK Coal had stated it planned to re-open the mine when it could find investment to develop a new coal seam.

But the latest announcement from UK Coal has saddened community leaders in Harworth. Coun David Challinor, who represents Harworth on Bassetlaw Council, said he felt people had been given false expectation that the pit would be re-opened.

He said: “People have been given false hope for eight years.

“We suspected this was going to happen, and in one sense it’s a good thing because at least now they have told us the truth, but on the other hand it’s a landmark we will lose.”

He said he would be asking UK Coal to save the two stone lions which sit on pillars at the site entrance and were presented to the colliery in the 1950s by Greater North Eastern Railway when the Mallard steam train broke the speed record on the East Coast Mainline.

It was coal from Harworth Colliery that fuelled the journey.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann said he thought UK Coal’s actions were ‘appalling’.

He said: “Harworth Estates is making millions of pounds of profit with the company.”

He said money that has been made from the firm’s land should have been put back into its mining operations.

No comment was available from UK Coal on Mr Mann’s claims.