In the UK’s north, Scarborough Borough Council and Ryedale District Council have released a joint statement giving their full support to a major planning application for a new US$1.6bn potash mine near Whitby for Sirus Minerals which includes the construction of a 36.5km long, 6m diameter Mineral Transport System (MTS) tunnel.
The MTS will run between the proposed mine to the materials handling facility at Teesside at depths of 120m to 360m and will be constructed using a combination of TBM and conventional mining equipment. It will contain a series of in-line conveyors capable of transporting at least 12M tonnes per annum of polyhalite and will be bored in five approx 7.5km long drives from 5 access shafts.
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The development of the proposed potash mine known as the York Potash Project, represents the biggest inward investment for many decades in the area and would create an unprecedented economic opportunity for the Borough of Scarborough and Ryedale.
The headline figures are impressive:
- Over 1,000 long term direct full time jobs
- A further 1,100 indirect and induced jobs in the wider supply chain
- A major contribution to national GDP and exports
- Thousands of direct and indirect construction jobs
There will be the chance for the councils to work with York Potash and its supply chain, which will lead to new investment in the area and new business opportunities for local companies, including:
- Investing over £2m at Whitby Business Park to develop 30 acres of serviced land for the mine supply chain
- Delivering a local recruitment process for the company through Scarborough Jobmatch that will ensure local people are well placed to access apprenticeships and employment opportunities from construction through to operations
- Developing the Construction Skills Village at Middle Deepdale, in partnership with Groundwork Trust, the Construction Industry Training Board, Leeds College of Building, Redcar and Cleveland College and Yorkshire Coast College, to provide a construction workforce of the future
- Developing a Regional Supply Chain Strategy with York Potash, including a Supply Chain Database, to which hundreds of companies have already registered
- Investing £0.75m in a construction, manufacturing and engineering apprenticeship programme to provide highly skilled local people for the project
Cllr Derek Bastiman, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said:
“We are wholeheartedly in favour of the York Potash planning application. The development of the new mine is critical to enabling the Borough of Scarborough and Ryedale to further diversify their economies and to create a more resilient economic base. We recognise the significant impact it would have on transforming the short and long term economic prospects of our communities, through the creation of new jobs, supplier chain opportunities and inward investment, both during construction and once operational.
“We also endorse the support shown for the project by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, which recognises the economic importance of the York Potash investment in its Strategic Economic Plan. The project is exceptional both in terms of meeting local economic need and in the context of UK national economic policy, so approval of the planning application would be very much in the public interest.”
Cllr Linda Cowling, Leader of Ryedale District Council is very happy to support the landmark planning application. She said:
“It is an important part of the council’s drive towards economic growth for the district and helping to reduce the gap between house prices and local wage levels.
“The mine site is within travel to work distance for many of our residents in Ryedale and all the benefits that accrue from this application will, overall, have a very positive effect in Ryedale and adjoining areas.
“It is a huge opportunity to grow the economy and provide apprenticeships and opportunities for our young people who are looking to forge a career and remain in the district where they grew up.”