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Clydesdale MSP, Aileen Campbell has welcomed the announcement that a coal taskforce is to be created in response to the liquidation of Scottish Coal, as a positive statement of intent from the Scottish Government.

During questions from MSPs on the liquidation of Scottish Coal, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, announced the creation of the Scottish Open Cast Mining Taskforce, which he will chair. The taskforce will be a cross-party initiative and will work closely with all relevant stakeholders including communities, councils, land owners and coal operators in maintaining a sustainable Scottish coal industry.

Skills Development Scotland is coordinating four events to assist employees who are being made redundant in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Alloa and Fife and help support people into alternative employment.

It was also announced that a Scottish Mines Restoration Trust would be created, to help facilitate the restoration of old open cast coal sites, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the process.

Speaking outside the chamber, Aileen Campbell said:

"As Fergus Ewing rightly made clear in the chamber today, the most important priority for now is to maintain as many Scottish Coal jobs as possible.

"The taskforce that is being assembled will do all that it can to secure a sustainable future for Scotland’s coal industry and I am optimistic that a positive way forward for mining operations and the jobs that come with it can be found.

"The announcement of a Scottish Mines Restoration Trust is also a helpful step forward that will in time create jobs in the process of restoring the landscape of old open cast coal sites.

"I welcome the fact that steps to assist those employees that have been made redundant have been put in place so quickly and I know that every effort will be made to help them into alternative employment as swiftly as possible."

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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