UK's last deep coal mine to close next week
The end of coal production at the UK's last remaining deep coal mine is scheduled to take place in a week's time.
UK Coal confirmed that Kellingley Colliery in N Yorkshire is set to close on December 18, bringing an end to deep coal mining in this country.
The 450 miners who work at the pit - known locally as ther Big K - will receive severance packages at 12 weeks' of average pay.
Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, told the Press Association: "It's a sad day now that the closure date has been confirmed.
"I am sure people will argue not burning coal is better for the environment, but as far as I am concerned this is another vindictive act."
Phil Whitehurst, national officer of the GMB union, said: "The final 450 miners, the last in a long line stretching back for generations, are having to search for new jobs before the shafts that lead down to 30 million tons of untouched coal are sealed with concrete.
"Kellingley and the coal industry in general has been let down by successive governments - both Conservative and Labour - who have failed to halt the pit closures.
"Margaret Thatcher in 1984 wanted to break the NUM because it was the bastion of the trade union movement but failed, but David Cameron's Conservative Government with no industrial strategy has now succeeded where Thatcher left off and the last deep mine in the UK is to go. This is a very sad day as our proud industrial heritage is destroyed by the Conservatives."