POLITICAL leaders and businesses from North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and the wider region have joined forces to urge the Government to give its full support to the Sirius Minerals project.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Mayor of the Tees Valley, Northern Powerhouse Partnership, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Sembcorp Energy UK, a key business in the Sirius Minerals’ project supply chain, have written a letter to the Prime Minister setting out how vital the success of the project is to the northern economy and prosperity of the area’s communities.
In a joint statement, Cllr Steve Siddons – Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, Cllr Mary Lanigan – Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Cllr Carl Les – Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Ben Houchen – Mayor of the Tees Valley, Henri Murison – Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, David Kerfoot – Chair of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Nomi Ahmad – Head of Sembcorp Energy UK, said:
“We will do everything in our power to harness Government support for the Sirius Minerals project. The significant and once in a generation opportunity the projects presents to transform our communities and deliver economic benefits on a regional and national scale should not be underestimated. We urge the Government to continue to engage with Sirius, to continue to support this truly transformational project and to work towards a solution that sees it delivered on time.”
Dear Prime Minister,
Sirius Minerals PLC
On behalf of the people and businesses in North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and the wider region we urge the Government to put its full support behind the Sirius Minerals project.
We share your belief in the need to realise the productive power of the country, outside of London and the South-East, and that the benefits of economic growth should be shared with communities across the country.
The Sirius Minerals project can help to deliver these aims and help the UK develop an important new fertiliser industry.
This project represents an opportunity to boost export-led growth and deliver economic benefits on a national scale. It is ambitious, outward-looking and is exactly the sort of enterprise that Government should be supporting. Sirius has already invested over £1 billion in the project and has become a crucial and very visible part of the northern economy.
Once operational the project will support over 1,000 good quality, well-paid direct jobs, with more in the supply chain. We also welcome the positive contribution that Sirius has made to the community through our boroughs, which we have seen first-hand.
The problems facing coastal communities are well documented; they are far away from large industrial centres, often have poor communication links and suffer from low-wage, seasonal and part-time opportunities, The Sirius Minerals project gives these communities – and particularly their young people – real opportunities they would otherwise have to leave the area to secure.
Up until last week there were 1,200 people working on the project across its sites in North Yorkshire and Teesside. With last week’s announcement that Sirius was unable to deliver its stage 2 financing plan, we are obviously concerned that the delivery of this important and transformational project will be delayed, and the impact such a delay would have on the regional and UK economy. Indeed, as Sirius reduces the pace of the project while it develops an alternative financing plan, there has already been a reduction in personnel employed at the development.
We understand that current global market conditions and uncertainty regarding the ongoing trade war between the United States and China have made it difficult for Sirius to raise the financing it needs. We urge the Government to continue to engage with Sirius, to continue to support this truly transformational project and to work towards a solution that sees it delivered on time.