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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Bridge removal a landmark stage in mine restoration

Brenkley Lane

Northumberland CC begin work on removal of 100-tonne Brenkley Lane surface mine bridge

BANKS Mining have commissioned Northumberland County Council’s construction team to remove a 100-tonne bridge which straddles the link road between the company’s Brenkley Lane surface mine, near Dinnington, on the Newcastle/Northumberland border, and the site compound on the other side of the C357.

The 32m long structure is expected to be removed towards the end of June, before being checked, galvanized and reused by previous owners Mabey Hire Services on another project elsewhere in the country. The whole project, which will also include the redirection of the site’s utilities, is expected to take around three months to complete.

Banks Mining began working the Brenkley Lane site in 2010 and completed coaling in 2019. Since then, they have been undertaking a comprehensive programme of landscaping and restoration work, which has included the planting of almost 9,800 trees and more than 8.3km of new hedgerow, as well as the creation and improvement of dozens of new wildlife habitats.

Grants totalling more than £250,000 have also been awarded from the Brenkley Lane surface mine community fund to a wide range of local community groups as part of Banks’ commitment to provide positive, tangible long-term benefits from their operations.

Jeannie Raine, community relations manager at the Banks Group, said: ‘The final stages of activity at and around our surface mines are planned in just as much detail as the preparatory and coal extraction stages, and the removal of the bridge is a real landmark in their execution.

‘The bridge has served our operations well for more than a decade, ensuring that large vehicles can move freely between the site and the compound without disrupting other local traffic, and it’s great to know that it will recycled and reused elsewhere.

‘We’re very pleased to have commissioned Northumberland County Council’s expert construction team to carry out the required work around the bridge and they have made a fast start preparing the surrounding infrastructure that’s required before it can be removed.

‘Landscaping work at the Brenkley Lane site has gone extremely well and we’re proud of our track record of restoring every single one of the 113 surface mines we’ve worked over the last four decades.

‘Providing funding support to local good causes is central to our long-term ‘Development with Care’ approach, and we’ve been able to make a terrific difference to the facilities available to people living in the communities around Brenkley Lane over the last decade.’

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