Rugeley Power Station. Pic: Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has pushed for reassurances over the future of the Rugeley Power Station site and its workers.

Operator ENGIE has confirmed that the 1970s coal-powered plant will close in the summer.

Around 150 jobs could go in the local community when it closes.

Rugeley Power Station. Pic: Richard Croft and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant called on Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to ensure everything possible was done to find new opportunities.

Ms Rudd said: “I will, of course, actively engage with Mr Fabricant and [Cannock Chase MP] Amanda Milling to make sure that we do what we can for the people who have lost their jobs.”

As well as the jobs, the future of the site has also been up for discussion once the cooling towers are demolished.

Michael Fabricant

In a House of Commons debate, Mr Fabricant asked Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities: “With the closure of coal-fired power stations, including one in my constituency, what are we doing to encourage building on brownfield sites that include contaminated land?”

Mr Clark replied: “In the spending review, the Chancellor established a fund to decontaminate brownfield sites so they can made available for house building.”

A number of local authorities – including Lichfield District Council – have already teamed up to create a task force to help find new employment for those affected by the closure.

But Mr Fabricant said that it was “sad, but inevitable” that the plant would close.

“Every job loss is regrettable and a personal tragedy for the individual involved,” he added. “Fortunately, however, we live in an area where there is very low unemployment and Rugeley Power Station’s owners have committed to redeploy some of the power station’s workers.

“If any individuals have particular personal issues, I am always available to help.

“But the closure of coal fired power stations in the UK have been a long time coming. Apart from major pollution issues, coal mining throughout Western Europe has virtually ceased which means there is no local source of fuel which was the original reason for locating the power station at Rugeley in the first place – to be close to the long-gone Lea Hall Colliery.

“It is sad, but inevitable that Rugeley Power Station would eventually have to close. We must now concentrate on finding alternative uses for the site to include both work opportunities and much needed housing.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.