Hargreaves Services acquire assets of Scottish Coal

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HARGREAVES Services yesterday acquired the assets of Scottish Coal for £8.4 million, three years after its parent company embarked on a £250m plan to float on the stock market.

Hargreaves will reinstate 300 jobs, rising to 500, after taking control of five former active mining sites, including Broken Cross in South Lanarkshire and House of Water in East Ayrshire. While the company will not own the mines, it has pledged to invest £25m into them and expects to extract 1m tonnes of coal in its first year.

Due to “complexities associated with the company’s financial affairs”, ownership of the mines have been transfered to a new Scottish Coal holding company, which Hargreaves has the option to purchase at a later date.

The subsidiaries will “continue to be responsible for the resolution of outstanding restoration liabilities at these sites”.

The Durham-based industrial firm did acquire other assets owned by the failed Scottish Resources Group (SRG) including around 30,000 acres of land, plant and equipment and potential wind farm interests.

Fears emerged that the collapse of Scottish Coal would mean several of its disused coal mines would not be remediated. Hargreaves said any windfarm developments it undertakes on the land it has acquired will be done in a joint venture with the government-backed Scottish Mines Restoration Trust “with the aim of providing a future potential income stream for the trust”.