Potash sales to bring cash for the community

The Sirius Minerals mine site near Whitby
The Sirius Minerals mine site near Whitby

The Sirius Minerals Foundation is launching its first grant programme after receiving its first £2 million of funding from Sirius Minerals.

The foundation, which is an independent charity, was set up as a community fund to spend a share of revenues from Sirius Minerals’ Woodsmith Mine. The first funding of £2 million has become available following the recent commencement of construction at the mine.

Once in production Sirius Minerals will contribute an annual royalty of 0.5% of sales from its Woodsmith Mine to the foundation. This lasting commitment to the community will see the foundation ultimately benefit from millions of pounds a year, with some estimates putting the figure over £10 million per year. In its first funding year the trustees of the foundation are prioritising an initial grant giving programme of grants between £500 and £5,000.

This first programme will help assess initial interest in funding projects throughout the area.

David Archer, chairman of the foundation, said: “We are delighted that the foundation can access its first substantial funding from Sirius, which is the first step in realising our ambition of making a positive difference to the local community and the lives of local people. The initial grant giving programme will allow us to better assess the funding priorities within our area of interest and I would encourage people to find out more on our website.”

The foundation has been set up to fund a range of community projects. These vary from bursaries, scholarships or skills training for local people to improving public spaces and facilities, environmental initiatives and community building projects.

The foundation will initially prioritise support for communities located close to the construction site. These include communities within 10 miles of the Woodsmith Mine and five miles of the mine infrastructure, such as the transport system access points or the material handling facility at Teesside.

The foundation will host two open evenings to answer questions from the public and to explain its funding programme. The evenings will be on Monday, May 15 at Performance Hall, TunedIn in Redcar and Tuesday, May 16 at St Bede’s Hall, Sneaton Castle in Whitby. Refreshments will be served at 6.30pm with each event running from 7pm to 8.30pm.