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Naming ceremony for North Yorkshire potash mine

Andrew Percy MP: "Today marks an important step for Sirius Minerals' North Yorkshire mining project." Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

The construction of a new potash mine in North Yorkshire will begin in the spring.

The site, which is expected to employ more than a thousand people, was officially named on Friday.

The "Woodsmith Mine", as it will be called, has not been without controversy, due to it's location on the edge of the North York Moors National Park.

The name was unveiled today by Andrew Percy MP, the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.

The Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Woodsmith Mine has been named after two of the original geologists that worked on the Sirius project, Mr Peter Woods and Dr Frederick Smith.

When complete, the site will extract a form of potash to be used as an agricultural fertiliser. The mineral will be sent via a 23 mile underground tunnel to Teeside, for distribution.

The project is costing between two and three billion pounds. It is due to open in 2021, with the potential of creating more than a thousand jobs.

The prospect of signficant numbers of jobs here has won over many local people in this area. But the location of this mine on the edge of the protected national park has been a sticking point for environmental groups and nearby residents.

Speaking at the plaque unveiling, Andrew Percy said:

Today marks an important step for Sirius Minerals' North Yorkshire mining project, which is a real vote of confidence in the economic potential of the Northern Powerhouse.

The Woodsmith Mine has the potential to create over a thousands jobs and generate billions of pounds of exports for the region, and so I'm excited to see it progress.

– Andrew Percy MP, Northern Powerhouse Minister
Preparatory work before construction gets underway in April this year. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees