The government says more than 4,000 jobs in the UK coal industry have been saved thanks to a £52m investment package.
A dozen projects at coal mines in Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire and South Wales have been given extra cash to work reserves in inaccessible areas.
Private coal firms will get up to 30% of development
costs as part of the new Coal Investment Aid scheme
Energy Minister Stephen Timms said the move would not only preserve existing jobs for up to five years, but will also create a further 300.
He said that despite difficult times in the last decade, there were encouraging signs for the future of the industry.
Aberpergwm, West Glamorgan.
Hay Royds, Yorkshire
Daw Mill, Warwickshire
The selected pits have three months to accept the funds.
Mr Timms said: "I am delighted to announce this substantial investment, which will help to
preserve and create jobs in our coal industry and help secure the future of mining to 2008 and beyond.
"The Coal Investment Aid scheme aims to unlock the potential of coal reserves which may otherwise remain unworked by providing a large chunk of the investment
"If taken up, the award winners will see a total investment of £175m for the UK coal industry.
"The announcement demonstrates that, despite some difficult times in the past, there are encouraging signs for the future of the coal mining industry in