Hundreds back MP Yvette Cooper’s petition to save Kellingley Colliery

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Hundreds of people have signed a petition to save Kellingley Colliery.

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper was out rallying support for the petition on Saturday morning in Knottingley.

Ms Cooper’s petition says: “We call on UK Coal and the Government to do everything possible to find a solution to the current crisis before the first round of layoffs on 23rd May 2014 including working with other investors and the European Commission to get a deal that would keep the pit open beyond 2015.”

She tweeted: @YvetteCooperMP “We’re at Morrisons in Knottingley w the #SaveKellingley campaign this morning. Drop by & show your support.”

Energy Minister Michael Fallon announced on Thursday that a £10m loan, alongside £10m from the private sector, would support the “managed closure” of the pit, which employs 700 workers, along with another at Thoresby, in Nottinghamshire, which employs 1,300 people.

But the deal has yet to be formally agreed and UK Coal, who run both sites, and claim they could close if a deal cannot be agreed.

Andrew Mackintosh, director of communications, said: “Everything needs to be agreed within the next ten days at the most, otherwise we risk the two sites closing and all 2,000 jobs going at the same time.

“At least it will be more phased if we agree this deal rather than all of us looking for jobs at the same time.”

Workers at the site along with Ms Cooper, have vowed to fight for a long term future at Kellingley.

But Mr Mackintosh added that the firm had been looking for investment for months.

He said: “The firm would need about £100m in investment to make it an ongoing business and for a long term future.

“We have had an offer within the last few weeks but they pulled out. The main priority is to prevent the imminent closure and agree to the managed closure deal.”

To sign the petition to save Kellingley, go to: