HARGREAVES Surface Mining has hired its 500th worker in Scotland in less than a year.
The move is a major milestone for Scotland’s coal industry and marks the continued growth of the sector following a difficult period in which two operators went out of business.
Hargreaves now manage seven sites across Scotland at St Ninians and Muir Dean in Fife, Broken Cross in South Lanarkshire, Duncanziemere, Netherton and House of Water in East Ayrshire and Glenmuckloch in Dumfries and Galloway.
Restoration is a key task for the firm with enough earth, stone and other material to fill more than 125 Olympic sized swimming pools being moved each week as they continue to rehabilitate the land at these sites.
Even more jobs are likely to be created with Managing Director Peter Gillatt saying this is a positive time for the industry. “Reaching 500 employees was a target we set ourselves as soon as we got involved in the coal industry in Scotland and to achieve this within 12 months is a great indication that there remains a substantial demand for coal, as well as our drive and determination to succeed.
“Our aim now is simple, to continue building on this success and to create more jobs, contribute to local economies and provide opportunities within our supply chain to secure and develop further employment.”
Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, who recently saw restoration in action during a visit to Glenmuckloch Surface Mine in Dumfries and Galloway, has welcomed the news of this milestone. He said, “I met with Hargreaves this time last year when the coal industry and a number of local communities were having to deal with considerable uncertainty and disappointment following the collapse of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources.
“At that meeting Hargreaves Surface Mining said that securing and creating jobs was a top priority in re-establishing the industry in Scotland and they haven’t disappointed and delivered on their promise, for which they deserve considerable praise.”