The relevance of heritage today
Mining in Scotland has a widely recognised cultural and historical significance, as it does in other coalfield areas of the UK. Much of Scotland's industrial wealth was based on the recovery of natural resources, including coal and iron ore, which in turn supported base industries such as steel making and shipbuilding.
Much of the coal mining was undertaken in relatively rural areas where substantial communities were established around the mines. As a result, many generations of that population have been actively involved in mining and related industries.
As underground mining declined, the wellbeing of these Scottish communities came under pressure. Their relatively remote and rural locations have made it particularly difficult to attract and keep new alternative forms of employment. This problem has of course been heightened by the last two recessions, which have hit these rural areas very hard with a decimation of the remaining alternative small industries.
As a result of both the cultural/emotional links to the mining of coal and the recognition that current mining is a vital source of employment and wealth in the communities, there is a very strong element of support for the Group's continuing operations. This support extends to the Local Authorities that cover our operational sites, many of whose members have a family background in mining.