The entirety of the population of Retortillo, half the population of Villavieja de Yeltes and many more residents from other towns surrounding the project have signed a petition to show their support for Berkeley‘s Salamanca mine. The petition currently has nearly 1,500 signatures.
At a recent event organised in Retortillo, members of the Berkeley staff joined local residents to publicise their support for Berkeley’s €250 million investment, which will create over 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.
La Gaceta featured a large article on the event highlighting that local support for the project is ‘massive and unanimous’ and ‘supporting and developing the local communities are two of the foundations on which Berkeley’s project is based.’
Local residents cited job creation, which will allow young people to remain in their hometowns and reverse decades of depopulation, as a key reason for signing the ‘Si A La Mina’ petition. Already, the majority of the team on site have been recruited from the local area and the Company looks forward to adding to this workforce in the coming months.
To date, the Company has received over 22,500 job applications with 400 of those coming from villages surrounding the project and of those, over 110 from Villavieja alone, which represents 25% of the population of the village.
Paul Atherley, Managing Director of Berkeley Energia, said:
“We are thrilled that so many local residents turned out to support our project over the past few days demonstrating the huge amount of support for the Salamanca mine, which is located in a region experiencing some of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the European Union.
Earlier this year the Minister of Economy and Finance for Castilla y Leon, Pilar del Olmo, heralded the investment that the Company is making in the region, commenting that the Salamanca mine will bring ‘a generation of direct employment.’
Development of the mine will stimulate the return of services such as schools, petrol stations and transport to the local villages and will help to bring back some of the 25,000 mainly young people who left the area last year to look for employment.
If young people want to stay and take on the meaningful careers that are created by economic development, they will get married and hopefully have families which will rejuvenate once-thriving local villages.
We are incredibly proud of our investment and the rejuvenation it will bring to the local community.”