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North Yorkshire Jobs At Risk If Potash Mine Rejected

Minster FM News Generic

10:54am 4th June 2013

Thousands of jobs and billions of pounds in investment are at stake in a planning application for a new potash mine on the North York Moors, according to the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Local Enterprise Partnership warns that failure to grant planning consent for the new mine near Pickering will deliver a severe blow to the economic prospects of North Yorkshire and the surrounding region. 

They say that the planning application for the new mine  - which is expected to create over 1,000 direct jobs with thousands more in the supply chain - is due to be considered by the North York Moors National Park Authority on 2 July.

The Local Enterprise Partnership say a small number of objectors have raised concerns about the impact of building a mine in the National Park, but Rob Miller, Board Member of the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We must be bold enough to grasp this opportunity. York Potash has invested significant amounts of money developing a mine design which minimises the impact to the local area and has made major commitments to ensure the benefits are felt locally. Failure to approve the scheme would cause unnecessary delays and put the investment and opportunity in jeopardy”.

The Local Enterprise Partnership add that York Potash, which is developing the mine, has already published a skills strategy committing to 80% of the workforce being local.  The company is now working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop a local supply chain strategy ensuring local businesses can benefit from the investment.

In addition, say the Local Enterprise Partnership, the company has agreed to invest 0.5% of revenues, which could be as much as £7million per year, into a local community fund to benefit local people and local initiatives

Parent company Sirius Minerals announced last week  it has signed sales framework agreements, demonstrating demand and taking the deals signed to over two million tonnes per year, say the Local Enterprise Partnership.

In response to concern raised over the impact on tourism in the area, the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Rob Miller added:  “Tourism is one of our key sectors and we are committed to supporting the industry.  We see this as a real opportunity - any short term disruption during construction can be managed and alongside that will be the additional spend with local tourism businesses.  We are also committed to working with local tourism organisations, by for example bidding to the local community fund to improve the local tourism offer.

“Tourism has been crying out for investment and we need to use this community fund to help develop local infrastructure, improve local skills and invest in the arts.  This is our opportunity to be ambitious for the future of the Yorkshire Coast and the North York Moors so approving the planning application is the first crucial step to achieving this vision.”   

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