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Impact of pit closures still felt in Falkirk and other coalfield communities

Coal mining once employed thousands across the UK but the industry collapsed in the late 20th century

Coal mining once employed thousands across the UK but the industry collapsed in the late 20th century

 

A hard-hitting report claims that pit closures continue to have a negative impact on coalfield communities more than 25 years since the collapse of the industry.

A study by Sheffield Hallam University, commissioned by The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, compared economic and social conditions in former mining areas in Scotland, England and Wales with the rest of the country.

The report divided Scotland into three coalfield areas, with the Falkirk district being included as part of Fife.

It found that the employment rate in former mining areas was three per cent lower than the Scottish average, and that 11.7 per cent of people living in coalfields report long-term health problems, compared to 8.6 per cent nationally.

In Fife and Falkirk 15.7 per cent of adults are out-of-work and reliant upon benefits, compared to the UK average of 10.9 per cent.

“The pit closures may now be receding into history, but the job losses that followed are still a serious economic reality for most mining communities,” said Professor Steve Fothergill.

“The consequences are still too visible in statisitics on jobs, unemployment, benefits and ill health.”

The pits at Redding and South Bantaskine closed in 1959, but many local miners transferred to Kinneil, near Bo’ness, which was the largest in the Falkirk Council area. Before its closure in 1982 it had an average workforce of 1184.

 

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