28 September, 2020
Following on from our last two ‘Project Facts’ updates, we are now sharing the third in our series of factsheets: this week’s relating to Local benefits and impacts.
The factsheet demonstrates that not only will the project deliver significant employment to the local community but will also provide major social and economic benefits for the wider community and the Cumbrian supply chain.
West Cumbria Mining is committed to ensuring we are always an employer of choice, including having the highest standards in relation to equal opportunities, implementing the real living wage throughout the business and all suppliers, and facilitating the highest standards of training and skills development.
With the mine requiring around 510 employees, as well as having an annual expenditure of around £148m, this will create a significant boost to Copeland, Allerdale and West Cumbria, as well as diversification and the development of long-term secure employment. We are also seeking to work with local councils to support local schemes and the siting of facilities/offices in the local area to further boost the local economy and environment.
Key supporting information includes:
- There are less than 55 companies in Cumbria employing more than 250 people
- Cumbria total workforce in March 2020 was 127,200
- Average salary in Cumbria in Q1 2020 was £32,437 pa
- The average WCM employee salary would be £51,250 pa
- There are significant clusters of lower income households in Whitehaven, Workington, Flimby & Maryport (the west coastal zone within 20 miles of the project)
- Even before the Covid-19 pandemic almost 4,000 children in Copeland were living in poverty and nearly 15 per cent of households had an income of less than £10,000 a year (Copeland Borough Council)
- Covid-19 has seen significant Increases in
- Child poverty (1 in 4)
- Mental health issues
- Domestic violence
- Drug and substance abuse and
- Anti-social behaviour (feedback from the Cumbria Community Foundation)
- Most economists expect unemployment to continue rising for the rest of 2020
- Scenarios published by the government’s spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, give an official view of what might happen to unemployment:
- In its optimistic scenario, the unemployment rate peaks at 9.7% this year, and returns to pre-crisis levels in 2022
- In its least optimistic scenario, it peaks at 13.2%, in 2021 – with four million people out of work. It is still at 6.3% by the end of this scenario in 2024 – well above pre-crisis levels
- Unemployment rates in the North West are higher than the wider UK, with the potential to exceed 10% before end 2020
- Cumbria was ranked highest in a recent ‘employment at risk’ assessment (Grant Thornton, August 2020)
To download a copy of WCM’s Project Facts Update – Part 3, please click here