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Government Urged To Support Potash Mine Near Whitby

Government Urged To Support Potash Mine Near Whitby

Published by Karen Liu at 3:26pm 7th October 2019. (Updated at 5:20pm 7th October 2019)

Political leaders and businesses from North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and the wider region have joined forces to urge the Government to give its full support to the Sirius Minerals project.

Scarborough Borough Council, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Mayor of the Tees Valley, Northern Powerhouse Partnership, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Sembcorp Energy UK, a key business in the Sirius Minerals’ project supply chain, have written a letter to the Prime Minister setting out how vital the success of the project is to the northern economy and prosperity of the area’s communities.

In a joint statement, Cllr Steve Siddons - Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, Cllr Mary Lanigan - Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Cllr Carl Les - Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Ben Houchen - Mayor of the Tees Valley, Henri Murison - Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, David Kerfoot – Chair of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Nomi Ahmad - Head of Sembcorp Energy UK, said:

“We will do everything in our power to harness Government support for the Sirius Minerals project.

The significant and once in a generation opportunity the projects presents to transform our communities and deliver economic benefits on a regional and national scale should not be underestimated.  

We urge the Government to continue to engage with Sirius, to continue to support this truly transformational project and to work towards a solution that sees it delivered on time.”

Here is the joint letter:

"Dear Prime Minister

Sirius Minerals Plc

On behalf of the people and businesses in North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and the wider region we urge the Government to put its full support behind the Sirius Minerals project.

We share your belief in the need to realise the productive power of the country, outside of London and the South-East, and that the benefits of economic growth should be shared with communities across the country. The Sirius Minerals project can help to deliver these aims and help the UK develop an important new fertiliser industry.

This project represents an opportunity to boost export-led growth and deliver economic benefits on a national scale. It is ambitious, outward-looking and is exactly the sort of enterprise that Government should be supporting. Sirius has already invested over £1 billion in the project and has become a crucial and very visible part of the northern economy.

Once operational the project will support over 1,000 good quality, well-paid direct jobs, with more in the supply chain. We also welcome the positive contribution that Sirius has made to the community through our boroughs, which we have seen first-hand

The problems facing coastal communities are well documented; they are far away from large industrial centres, often have poor communication links and suffer from low-wage, seasonal and part-time opportunities, The Sirius Minerals project gives these communities – and particularly their young people – real opportunities they would otherwise have to leave the area to secure.

Up until last week there were 1,200 people working on the project across its sites in North Yorkshire and Teesside. With last week’s announcement that Sirius was unable to deliver its stage 2 financing plan, we are obviously concerned that the delivery of this important and transformational project will be delayed, and the impact such a delay would have on the regional and UK economy. Indeed, as Sirius reduces the pace of the project while it develops an alternative financing plan, there
has already been a reduction in personnel employed at the development.

We understand that current global market conditions and uncertainty regarding the ongoing trade war between the United States and China have made it difficult for Sirius to raise the financing it needs. We urge the Government to continue to engage with Sirius, to continue to support this truly transformational project and to work towards a solution that sees it delivered on time."


There are 4 comments on this page.

Ian Dixon, on 7th October 2019 4:00pm
Ten years,ago when the Banks were in trouble the then Labour Government stepped into help.
Now Sirius is in trouble I doubt this Government or even Labour would help, they are not bothered about working class people. The Sirius Project will provide jobs for generations to come and bring revenue into our economy both locally and nationally.
The Sirius Project will provide proper jobs, not low paid service jobs. Jobs that will pay a wage to live on, not just exist.
Come on Mr Johnson support the North for a change, what about the Northern Powerhouse ?
whitbycolin, on 7th October 2019 10:47pm
The furore surrounding the mine raises questions as to the considerations of the whole mining scheme. I cannot understand why a company would initiate a vast program costing millions of pounds when they knew from the outset that they did not have sufficient finances to fulfill the project.

Is it not ridiculous to begin a scheme with the knowledge that you might seek a government bail out at some point. What does it say to those employed who thought themselves lucky to find a secure job, only to once again be looking for work before the project had made real advances it must be very disheartening to those in this position.

What of the ramifications for the landscape, ravaged by what the company has done. If this project fails to secure a bail out what state will the land be left in, does Sirius Minerals have the income or intention to make good the damage to the landscape?

The scheme promised so much to so many and it's promises seem empty gestures today. Where are the promised jobs and the benefits the scheme implied Whitby would see? Those who invested in what seemed a good prospect have lost everything!

Finally one might question why the project was even deemed worthy when the region already has a source of polyhalite in Boulby mine! A business with a good track record and with a long standing infrastructure.

I see no reason why any government should bail out a private company using tax payers money, how long would it take before there be is any return on the vast figures needed to keep the project afloat. Tax payers money should not be seen as a fund to keep private companies going No matter the consequences.

It seems to be a poorly planned project and one that should not have broken ground without the overall funds to complete it. It is perhaps something that begs investigation at the highest levels.
zara, on 8th October 2019 9:20am
it is not the governments money that would be at risk it is the taxpayers. Why is labour so supportive of a private company getting government funding - apart from the fact they think it is a local vote winner. Then this council is always good at wasting taxpayers money
Unininaninimity, on 16th October 2019 2:48pm
The main risk in this project at the moment is the lack of capital to get it to the next stage.

With government support this risk is overcome.

It is not like Thomas Cook, in fact it is the opposite as they are investing in developing technology.

The project should be the pride of British industry.

We need folk to get behind it, not to run it down!

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