Four UK coal mines in England and Wales are set to receive over £21million of Government aid following European Commission approval given today.
According to a statement from the DTI this takes the total amount of aid approved under the special scheme designed to help the British coal industry to £131 million.
The new money will help the coal industry through short-term energy market problems.
‘Those who dismiss the industry as having little relevance are wrong,’ said Brian Wilson, Minister for Energy. ‘Provisional figures show that coal accounted for 33 per cent of all electricity supplied in the UK in 2000 and this source will not be easily replaced.’
The Commission has approved payments to mining operations at Selby in North Yorkshire, Blaentillery in mid Glamorgan, Hay Royds near Huddersfield and Moorside near Sheffield.
This is in addition to the subsidy payments of £23.5 million made to these mines in 2000.
The money will be paid under the UK Coal Operating Aid Scheme, which was approved by the European Commission last year.