A recently published report has revealed that a proposed billion-pound potash mine near Whitby, England, could cost the local tourism industry £10m a year during construction. The study has been conducted on the request of the North York Moors National Park to establish what impact the almost five-year construction would have on the countryside and tourism. The developer of the project, Sirius Minerals, claims that the mine would directly employ about 1,000 people.
Councillors at Redcar and Cleveland Council have already given a green light to the project but a permission from the national park is still pending. It will be, however, announced very soon, on 30 June. Other opponents claim that even after the construction, the mine will incur further costs to the tourism industry in the county, estimated at a further £5m a year. Tourism is a very important part of the region’s economy. In 2013, it brought £177m to the National Park, out of which £104m was to Whitby.
Likely aware of the possible consequences, the company said it would grant £500,000 a year to partly make up for the loss in the tourism sector. York Potash’s spokesperson said that this would be split between Welcome to Yorkshire, the North York Moors National Park Authority, Visit England and Visit Britain. Moreover, the company said that it would double regional train services and fund directional signage to the North York Moors National Park from main roads in the vicinity. According to the report, there are general concerns that there will be a lot of heavy traffic on the region’s roads as a result of the construction, which could easily discourage tourists from visiting the national park.