Boris Johnson invited to Scarborough for talks over future of Sirius Minerals

Woodsmith mine.
Woodsmith mine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been invited to Scarborough for crisis talks over the future of the Sirius Minerals polyhalite mine.

The Labour leader of Scarborough Borough Council, Cllr Steve Siddons, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to take immediate action to secure the future of the company and its polyhalite mine outside Whitby.

Cllr Siddons said: “I have written to Boris Johnson today inviting him to a meeting with myself, Government Ministers, Local MPs Robert Goodwill, Anna Turney and Simon Clarke, Teesside Mayor Ben Houchen and Sirius to discuss how the Government can support this vital project, ensuring it delivers the prosperity and well-paid jobs so urgently needed in the area.”

Yesterday, Sirius announced it had cancelled plans to raise $500m (£403m) through a bond sale and blamed “market conditions”, including Brexit and lack of Government support for the decision.

It will now undergo a six-month review of four different options for a new financing plan to resume the project.

Its share price plummeted in response to the news and raised doubts over the future of the Woodsmith mine project under the North York Moors National Park, which had promised to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Cllr Siddons said he now wants the Prime Minister to show he is committed to the North and save the project.

He added: “Boris has spent much of the last couple of weeks touring the Northern heartlands recognising the devastation caused by years of austerity and lack of investment. It’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is and ensure this project delivers on its promise to the people of North Yorkshire.

“This project has the potential to grow the North Yorkshire economy by 17%, provide a £2.3 billion annual contribution to UK GDP, as well as providing significant benefits locally, including the creation of circa 1,000 direct high-value jobs within the area and an estimated 1,500 further jobs within the local supply chain.

“This project is central, not only to the future of the borough, but to the future of the wider North Yorkshire and Teesside regions in terms of economic growth and prosperity, but in providing a platform for raising aspiration and social mobility within our communities.

“Additionally, thousands of local investors have supported this project with their hard-earned savings, putting faith in Sirius to deliver prosperity for the area.”