HUNDREDS of redundancy-threatened miners will receive Government support to find new employment, Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged.

More than 200 workers face the axe at ICL UK, as the miner reacts to dwindling traditional North Sea mineral reserves.

However, Mrs May today (Wednesday, January 10) said Downing Street will help those affected, with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council also committing its support.

Speaking in Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May told the Commons that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will look into the possibility of extending the SSI Taskforce, founded to support steelworkers when Redcar’s SSI UK collapsed, to help at-risk miners.

The assurance came after Middlesbrough South and east Cleveland MP Simon Clarke told Mrs May “it would be incredibly helpful if some of the funds remaining from the 2015 SSI rescue package could be re-purposed.”

It also followed calls from Redcar Labour MP Anna Turley and Redcar and Cleveland borough councillor David Walsh, who both urged the use of SSI Taskforce funds to assist threatened ICL UK staff.

Mrs May said: “It’s obviously a worrying time for workers.

“We will be helping people find other work and supporting them through the Department for Work and Pension’s Rapid Response Service, and will also co-ordinate with the Tees Valley Combined Authority to get the best possible support available.

“The Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will look at the situation and the specific issue (SSI Taskforce) raised.”

Speaking after the debate, Mr Clarke said he welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge, adding he will be speaking to ICL UK bosses this week.

 He said: "I welcome the commitment that the Government will not only deliver an ambitious and co-ordinated response, but will also look at the question of releasing the money remaining from the SSI Taskforce to help – this really could make such a difference.

“I will be going to Boulby to speak to management and will follow that up by meeting the leadership of Redcar and Cleveland Council to ensure everything that can be done is being done to support everyone affected.”

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said he was pleased to see Mrs May offer her support.

He said: “My office has been working closely with Redcar and Cleveland Council, the Department for Work and Pensions Rapid Response Service and Simon Clarke and Anna Turley to co-ordinate efforts.

“The announcement was devastating for communities across east Cleveland, and while we work to line up a proper support package, I would urge affected workers to get in touch with my office if they need support.”

Referring to its support commitment, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Councillor Sue Jeffrey, said: “We know from our experience at SSI that we need to offer help as soon as we can.

“A team of advisors will be available locally to offer support around CV writing, up-skilling and training, as well as financial and benefits advice as soon as required.”

ICL UK, based at Boulby, east Cleveland, first revealed its restructure plan in 2015, announcing it would cut 700 jobs in separate redundancy waves after tests showed its traditional reserves, known as muriate of potash, were running extremely low.

Hundreds of workers have already left, with the firm, known locally as Cleveland Potash, switching to the multi-nutrient fertiliser polyhalite, which bosses say will secure the mine’s long-term future by generating bumper global trade deals.

The business previously received nearly £5m of Government Regional Growth Fund cash to support its polyhalite venture.