Caroline Flint joined the Coalfields Regeneration Trust this week to demand a dedicated Coalfields Fund.
Said Caroline: “I’m determined our coalfield communities are not left behind. If we achieved the same employment rates as the South East England, our coalfields would have 170,000 more jobs for coalfield residents.
“I have nothing but praise for Ros Jones and South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis who have backed our efforts to secure more jobs and investment in Doncaster. I’m delighted to have championed the airport; the iPort development; the Wildlife Park all brought together by the Great Yorkshire Way – these are real, secure jobs for local people.
“But we have lacked Government investment for ten years now – wages have all but flatlined since the 2008 crash – and we still have four in ten of our coalfield residents living in derived communities.
“I fought for a Stronger Towns fund, which may bring a further £50million into Doncaster – but we need a sustained and dedicated Coalfields Fund.
“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has been one of the few real allies for Coalfield MPs, dedicated to supporting the 5.7 million people living in former mining communities throughout the UK”
The Don Valley MP signed the CRT Book of Support reads: “I support The Coalfields Regeneration Trust with its case for the reinstatement of a bespoke coalfields fund to help scale up its activities and deliver positive socio-economic impacts in the UK’s former mining communities.”
The CRT wants to deliver programmes of activity that improve the lives of residents by focusing on three priorities for action; employment, skills and health and wellbeing.
Said Caroline “I welcome the latest CRT report – we need to win the argument to rebalance the wealth and opportunities in our economy to give the North and the coalfields a fair share. Britain will not boost its productivity; its wealth and sustain full employment if we do not boost jobs and skills in our mining communities. I refuse to stand by while we continue to have two speed Britain.”
Chief Executive of the Coalfields Regeneration Fund, Gary Ellis, comments: “We would like to thank Caroline for singing our Book of Support. It is only by working together that we will achieve our ambitions for the future. The reinstatement of a government funding package will help us significantly increase the scale of activities that we are able to deliver. We have an ambitious five-year strategy to transform former coalmining communities into growing social and economic areas, but we cannot do it alone.”
The State of the Coalfields 2019 report highlights the challenges that continue to blight coalfield communities. To find our more about the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and its proposal for changing the future opportunities and prosperity for residents throughout England, Scotland and Wales please visit: www.coalfields-regen.co.uk.