Restoration works move forward at Mainshill

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Work to restore the former opencast coal site at Mainshill is entering a new phase, thanks to a partnership between Mines Restoration Limited (MRL), South Lanarkshire Council and Hall Construction Services.

MRL and South Lanarkshire Council have jointly awarded a contract to Hall Construction Services to deliver the next stage in the restoration process which will build on existing works aimed at bringing the area back into community use.

Following earlier works undertaken by MRL and sub-contractors to improve access routes, and to conserve the safety of surfaces which had been excavated, Hall took over the site in early summer. Restoration is progressing well, including recovery of soils to maximise aftercare opportunities.

The restoration strategy has been agreed with both the council and local community representatives and will be funded by a £5.1m restoration bond.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, chair of MRL, said: “Over the last four years, we’ve worked closely with South Lanarkshire Council to develop a fully-funded restoration programme for the Mainshill site. We’re now in a position to move forward on the project and it’s great that we will be doing that alongside Hall Construction.

“The restoration process will enhance the appearance of the area and will make parts of the site accessible to members of the public.

“Hall has an exemplary track record in restoring sites in Scotland and the north of England, so we’re confident that the work will be carried out to a very high standard.”

Once restoration work is complete, around 60 hectares of the site will be set aside for woodland planting.

Subject to ecological vetting and compliance monitoring, MRL is also currently organising tree felling on the southern margins of Mainshill.

Stephen Bromley, business development manager at Hall Construction Services Ltd said: “We’re very pleased to commence works on the restoration project at Mainshill.

“Working in collaboration with MRL and South Lanarkshire Council, we’re confident that our technical expertise will help bring the land back to productive and safe use.”

Pauline Elliott, South Lanarkshire Council's head of planning and economic development, , said: "The council has been at the forefront of pursuing the release of bond monies to ensure the full restoration of abandoned opencast coal sites within its area, following the financial collapse of Scottish Coal.

"Restoration work has now been completed on three sites and the restoration of the Mainshill site represents the final phase of this intervention. 

"Development of the restoration scheme has been the result of close working with MRL, and the local community have been kept informed throughout the process.

"Mainshill benefits from containing some unique geological features that were opened through the mining. The restoration plan has been designed to ensure that these features remain visible and accessible for geological study.

"Public access has been included as an integral part of the restoration design to ensure that once completed the site provides recreational activities for the benefit of the local community."