THERE will be no job losses at Hargreaves’ House of Water site near New Cumnock, despite fears posts were at risk at the opencast complex.

The surface mining company is in the process of restructuring its operations to make it less reliant on the coal industry but it has chosen to keep House of Water open.

There had been rumours that around 45 jobs may have been lost at the site due to the restructuring process, however, Hargreaves confirmed there would be no job losses at New Cumnock.

“Recent announcements to our employees details how we will structure the business following the natural conclusion of the Skares (East Ayrshire) and Broken Cross (South Lanarkshire) restoration projects.

“Whilst it was anticipated that some reduction in the size of our workforce would occur following the completion of these two contracts, we had planned to be in a position to redeploy the majority of people on these sites onto another significant restoration project within East Ayrshire that was due to start this spring. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, there is now a lack of clarity regarding how or when this planned restoration scheme is going to be delivered.

“Without a programmed start date for the new restoration scheme, we have had to take the difficult decision to reduce the overall size of our workforce in Scotland once the Skares and Broken Cross restoration contracts are completed.

“These changes are wholly linked to the natural end of these two restoration contracts and do not impact on our coal mining and processing activities in Scotland.

“We remain firmly committed to mining the full extent of our permitted coal reserves at our House of Water surface mine and processing this coal through our Killoch wash plant and railhead facility. The number of people employed at each of these sites remains unchanged.”