Work on site of former Big K to start by 2019?

27 June 2017........... Harworth Group PLC are seeking to redevelop the old Kellingley Colliery site near Pontefract. Finance Director Andrew Kirkman. Picture Scott Merrylees
27 June 2017........... Harworth Group PLC are seeking to redevelop the old Kellingley Colliery site near Pontefract. Finance Director Andrew Kirkman. Picture Scott Merrylees

the developers behind the site of the former Kellingley Colliery hope to begin work by 2019 and have already had expression of interests from firms looking to set up on the site.

Harworth Group, the former property arm of UK Coal, has been granted permission to develop the 151-acre site.

27 June 2017........... Harworth Group PLC are seeking to redevelop the old Kellingley Colliery site near Pontefract. Picture Scott Merrylees

27 June 2017........... Harworth Group PLC are seeking to redevelop the old Kellingley Colliery site near Pontefract. Picture Scott Merrylees

It wants to provide up to 1.45 million square feet of manufacturing and distribution space, which could bring as much as £200m of benefit to the local economy.

The firm is currently well-underway with demolition of the pit, known locally as Big K, after it closed in December 2015 marking the end of deep coal mining in Britain.

Harworth’s finance director, Andrew Kirkman, said the company wanted to use local contractors and employment as much as possible in the redevelopment process and that it expected some form of the original feature of the mine to be retained out of respect for the site’s industrial heritage.

But Mr Kirkman said it was likely the famous Kellingley tower would be removed.

He said: “We are in the middle of demolition at the moment. We have obviously only got outline planning permission so we would need to get more detailed.

“We are likely to bring something forward by 2019. It could be earlier than that.

“With Kellingley you have got to remember that the majority of people in the area either worked here or knew someone who worked here.

“Therefore the sentimentality to that association is huge, which is why we do try to retain some features so people recognise that heritage.

“We have huge respect for the people who worked here. People lost lives here. And therefore we need to very respectful of that and we absolutely are.”

Mr Kirkman said that the site was well suited to small industries but that its size, as well as the rail and road links, made it suitable for logistics too.

Among the parties interested in taking up residency are an international business and a government department.

The developers have begun to market the scheme with local agents.

Mr Kirkman said: “We want local contractors. We want jobs locally because that way we have got the most chance of the scheme being successful and we have got the most chance of that local support.”