300 jobs created by Hargreaves
Energy Minister welcomes announcement.
Commenting on Hargreaves announcement Mr Ewing said:
“The Scottish Open Cast Mining Taskforce has been working hard to maintain sustainable employment in the Scottish coal sector and the news today that Hargreaves PLC are to assume operation of 5 former SRG sites leading to the recovery of 300 jobs increasing over time to 500 jobs in the coal industry in Scotland is very welcome news.
“As chair of the taskforce I have appreciated the unstinting contribution that Hargreaves have made towards securing its aims.
“I recently met with some of the ex-SRG employees made redunant in April this year. These are highly skilled, hard working people who just want to get back to work so this will be welcomed news to them and their families. This is all positive activity and we are heading in the right direction to secure the future of this industry and the restoration of sites.
“In addition to the commitment to restore these sites Hargreaves have indicated that they intend to invest a further £25m in the coal industry in Scotland, this is a substantial and very welcome investment.
“In the coming months we will continue to work together to tackle the challenges of restoration, which in turn will further protect jobs in the sector. The Scottish Mines Restoration Trust will be a key player in this work and I am pleased that the SMRT is now beginning to get involved in the development of restoration plans.
“The taskforce will meet again in September and will continue in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that together we secure the optimum outcome for all concerned both for sustained employment and for restoration.”