Plans to extend a Northumberland mining site have been given the go-ahead.
Northumberland County Council has granted an application by regional employer Banks Mining to extract up to 250,000 tonnes of coal from a new area of its Shotton Surface Mine near Blagdon.
The work will focus on the south west corner of the site, known as Shotton South West, and will provide an extra year’s work for the 150 employees there.
Coaling is set to be completed by October 2017, with full restoration by October 2019.
Banks is still awaiting a decision on plans to mine a second new area on the site’s western side, known as Shotton Triangle.
Environment and Community Director Mark Dowdall said: “The discussions we had with local people and community representatives about this additional work were very positive and we’re very pleased to be given permission by the county council to begin operations at Shotton South West.
“We aim to work our Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines in a safe, responsible and efficient way, and our continued presence in the local area has enabled us to build strong relationships and deliver tangible benefits to the surrounding communities.”
More than 200 people are employed at Shotton and Brenkley Lane, which contribute more than £400,000 in annual business rates and are estimated to contribute £35million to the regional economy each year.
Over the last decade, Banks has awarded a total of £785,000 to groups and good causes in Northumberland through its Community Fund.
For more information about the extension plans call 0191 378 6100.