Where we began
When British coal mining was at its peak in the early 1900’s, it was one of the UK’s most important industries and employed nearly 1.2 million people.
As the industry contracted and large numbers of pits closed, it had a devastating impact on the communities that once relied on them for jobs, housing and social support.
By the late 1990s, former coalfield areas had a lack of employment opportunities, experienced high levels of poor health and many people had no or few qualifications.
In 1999, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was established in response to recommendations made by the government’s Coalfields Task Force. It was set up as an independent charity with a focus to support the communities and create opportunities for their people.
Where we are today
Despite 20 years of hard work delivering targeted programmes to improve health, skills and employment, the 5.7m people currently living in coalfield areas still face significant challenges.
In fact, if you were to combine all of the former coalfields across England, Wales and Scotland, it would be the most deprived region in the UK.
This is why we’re continuing our tireless effort to invest in these areas, and have teams on the ground listening to our communities and finding ways to address their needs.
Whether that means providing funding for local projects, practical help for those organisations delivering vital services, bringing communities together to plan for their future, inspiring young people through sport, or giving someone the help they need to secure a job or new skills – we’re here to help where we can.
Looking to the future
We are doing everything we can with the funding we have from the governments of Wales and Scotland and have been innovative in generating income to invest in our communities in England. However, it has not been easy and our aim is to build on our success and create a dedicated investment fund for former coal mining areas.
With this in place, we can scale up our activities, support more people in coalfield communities and create new opportunities that contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the UK.
To achieve this goal, our communities need the continued support from the governments of Wales and Scotland and renewed funding from the English government.
That’s why the a key part of our current strategy is to engage with key stakeholders, and lobby the UK Government for the coalfields to receive a multi-million pound boost over the next four years.