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  1. Tyne Tees

Hundreds of jobs to go at Boulby Potash in Cleveland

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Hundreds of jobs are to go at Boulby Potash Mine in East Cleveland, the company has confirmed this morning.

Cleveland Potash is Europe's deepest potash mine and produces and supplies potash fertilisers for agriculture and industry.

It employs around 1,100 people and today's announcement has said that 350 jobs are to go immediately.

Consultation has begun on 220 job losses amongst its employees and there will be a reduction of 140 contractor numbers.

The company unveiled a "significant restructuring" of its operations including moving from producing potash to polysulphate fertiliser.

Peter Smith, executive vice president, said the restructuring, although "painful", was vital to secure the future of ICL UK as a viable business.

In recent months we encountered geological problems which have affected previously high-yielding areas of the mine. In addition, our exploration programme, validated by independent consultants, confirmed further geological difficulties, which means that we have only a very limited level of economically feasible potash reserves

– Peter Smith

Around 2,000 jobs were lost on Teesside earlier this year with the liquidation of SSI.

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Region's unemployment drops by 3,000

Unemployment in Yorkshire dropped by 3,000 in the quarter to June, official figures have revealed.

Credit: Press Association

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a total of 174,000 people were unemployed in the region between April and June.

The region's unemployment rate was 6.5% and saw a drop of 1.7% during the period.

Nationwide, unemployment increased for the second month in a row, reaching 1.85 million.

The jobless total went up by 25,000 in the quarter, the first time there have been two consecutive rises for two years.

The ONS said it was possible the jobs market was "levelling off".

  1. Tyne Tees

MPs urge National Park to approve mine plans

The mine would be built south of Whitby Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Three MPs have published a joint letter in support of plans to create a potash mine near Whitby in North Yorkshire, describing it as a 'once in a lifetime opportunity'.

Fellow Conservatives Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby) and Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton) have joined the Labour MP Anna Turley (Redcar) in highlighting what they say are the benefits of the project.

The plan, put forward by mining company Sirius Minerals, was approved in April by Redcar and Cleveland councillors. It will go before members of the North York Moors Park Planning Authority on Tuesday 30th June.

The York Potash project, as it is known, would include a mine south of Whitby and a transportation system to take the material to a processing plant at Wilton on Teesside. It would cost £1.7bn and would be the UK's first new potash mine for forty years.

The mine would be situated on the edge of the national park. Opponents say it would blight the landscape and argue the area should be protected from development of this nature.

In their letter to park authority members, the MPs urge them to 'grasp the opportunity and approve the planing application for the benefit of all'.

The York Potash project brings with it the chance to secure a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of people in our area.

A positive decision will bring enormous social and economic benefits to the area by creating jobs, improving training and education opportunities for young people, providing community facilities and by generating more wealth in the economy.

– Robert Goodwill MP, Anna Turley MP, Kevin Hollinrake MP
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