Today I visited the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to meet the chair of trustees Peter McNestry and Chief Executive Gary Ellis.
The Trust was established by the Labour Government in 1999 with the intention of investing in coalfield communities that were left behind by pit closures and are still suffering from the effects today.
Since it was established, the Trust has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in coalfield communities across England, Wales and Scotland, supporting projects that help people develop skills to gain qualifications, find work, set up businesses and grow existing ones, and to encourage people to be more active in their communities.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is a fantastic organisation that is needed now more than ever in communities scarred by the legacy of closure and a significant lack of investment. Tory cuts to vital services has made this situation even worse.
Today's meeting provided a great opportunity to discuss the Coalfields Regeneration Trust with Peter and Gary, and if elected next week, I look forward to working with them.