Details of the job opportunities to become available at the new mine have been revealed – with 80 per cent of roles set to be filled by locals.

West Cumbria Mining Ltd has proposed to create a total of 504 permanent jobs working directly within the daily operation of Whitehaven’s new coal mine.

The £160million Woodhouse Colliery was given the go-ahead by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove on December 7,  after years of dispute over whether the project should go ahead.

West Cumbria Mining has outlined its plans for employment, which will offer “a broad range of opportunities for both skilled and semi-skilled workers”.

The majority of jobs (71 per cent) will be in the underground production teams. Other roles will be available in the underground support teams, coal processing plant, surface support teams, technical department and management.

In addition to the full time roles, West Cumbria Mining intend to employ up to 50 apprentices at any one time on an apprenticeship scheme.

Among the highest paid roles are the underground supervisors, with an indicative annual salary of £60,000.

Employees in the underground mining teams have an indicative annual salary of £45,000 and underground support teams staff look set to earn £40,000 a year.

The indicative annual salary for surface support and admin roles is given as up to £25,000.

It is proposed that staff working underground and in the surface process plant roles will work nine-hour shifts.

West Cumbria Mining say formal training will be provided by the company and local colleges, to provide upskilling and the ability to meet and exceed its pledge for at least 80 per cent of jobs to be filled by local people.

Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, said: “It’s going to create a lot of opportunity for people in diversified work. It’s going to bring a lot more wealth and prosperity into the area and it is genuine levelling-up in action.

“The more diverse the opportunities are, we’ve got more chance of keeping young people in the area and attracting people into the area. It’s an all-round good news story.”

Environmental campaigners strongly opposed to the mine have called for green jobs to be rolled out in west Cumbria instead.

Tony Bosworth, coal campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: "West Cumbria is long overdue much-needed investment and a boost in lasting jobs. With the market for the mine's coal declining as the steel industry inevitably moves towards greener production methods, the long-term viability of the jobs on offer is far from secure.

"There is no choice between jobs and the climate - better solutions to support both already exist. Rolling out a local programme to ensure that every home in the area is properly insulated would offer just as many, if not more, jobs for local people.

"And employment wouldn't be the only benefit. Insulating homes helps to lower energy bills - saving people hundreds of pounds each year - and keeps homes warmer, while cutting our carbon emissions at the same time."

READ MORE: Mike Starkie invites Ed Miliband to debate west Cumbria mine decision