Diploma all mine, says Neil

A long-serving manager at a Northumberland surface mine has swapped the coalface for the classroom to gain a high-level industry qualification.

Neil Cook, manager of the Banks Group’s Shotton opencast mine near Blagdon, has been awarded a diploma in quarry technology by the Institute of Quarrying after completing a three-year course run by Derby University.

His studies included regular tutorials at the East Midlands university.

Neil has worked for the County Durham-based Banks Group since 1980 and is now responsible for a workforce of about 140 people.