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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2004, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Mines to receive 16.5m in aid
Kellingley Colliery
Kellingley is due to benefit from government aid
Mining communities across England and Wales have received a multi-million pound boost from the government.

Nine mines have received a total of 16.5m as part of the government's Coal Investment Aid (CIA).

The scheme was set up in 2003 with a budget of around 60m to back investment projects in UK mines.

Energy minister Mike O'Brien said the funding showed the government's commitment to safeguarding the UK's coal industry.

Economic stability

Mr O'Brien's announcement on Thursday marks the second round of funding from the CIA.

Pits to receive funding
Eckington Colliery Partnerships, Derbyshire
Aberpergwm, West Glam
Daw Mill, West Midlands
Harworth, South Yorks
Kellingley, North Yorks
Maltby, South Yorks
Rossington, South Yorks
Thoresby, Notts
Welbeck, Notts
"Coal Investment Aid will help safeguard the social and economic stability of these local communities for as long as possible.

"It will also have positive knock-on effects for the regional and national economy," he said.

Coal supplies around a third of the UK's electricity demand and half of this is generated from UK-produced coal.

"It is therefore crucial that we continue to invest in our mines to ensure that the remaining reserves are fully exploited while they remain economically viable," said Mr O'Brien.

The news was welcomed by UK Coal Plc which owns eight of the nine mines which are to receive the funding.

"The money will be used to access new reserves at these mines and to improve the infrastructure," said spokesman Stuart Oliver.

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