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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S4W-14667

  • Asked by: Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Green Party
  • Date lodged: 3 May 2013
  • Current status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 4 June 2013


To ask the Scottish Government what discussions ministers have had with Hargreaves Services Plc about the formation of the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust.


The Scottish Government has talked with a range of stakeholders across the coal industry in the development stages of the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust (SMRT) including local authority planning officials, landowners, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and representatives of the coal industry including Hargreaves who were involved in the initial formation of the SMRT and but no longer play a part in the body going forward.

Options for funding the trust are possible from a variety of sources including coal operators and the coal industry itself, and Hargreaves have been the first coal operator to contribute to the funding of the trust providing £1.1 million. The SMRT is an independent body and not part of the Scottish Government.

It is not the responsibility of the SMRT to restore open cast mines. Coal operators will still be responsible for the restoration of their respective open cast sites. However these tasks are often complex and the trust will work with coal operators, local councils, landowners, communities, and environmental bodies to facilitate the responsible restoration of open cast sites.