Council chiefs from York and North Yorkshire have pledged to do all they can to help staff made redundant by cuts to a planned £7bn fertiliser mine.

The move follows Anglo American announcing last month it is to “slow the development” of the mine, which was due to open near Sneaton, just south of Whitby in 2027.

No firm date has been given for the new opening date of the Woodsmith Project, but the delay is expected to be years.

More than 2000 people, including contractors, have been working on the scheme, but the number is expected to be cut to 900, including contractors, in the next 12 months.

This includes cuts of more than 100 staff employed directly by the company, as announced earlier this week.

In a statement issued today, James Farrar, Interim Head of Paid Services at York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: The announcement surrounding the future of Anglo American’s Woodsmith Project is understandably of concern to the many staff, and associated businesses, which depend on the long-term viability of the site.

“The mine is a major regional employer, drawing its workforce from Scarborough, Whitby and other nearby rural and urban areas.

“While York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority (YNYCA) is disappointed to learn of Anglo American’s decision to slow development at the Woodsmith Project, we consider the mine integral to our economic ambitions as a region.”

He continued: “The Combined Authority and the York and North Yorkshire Mayor have, therefore, committed to ensuring every affected employee at the Woodsmith Project is connected to opportunities for reemployment, skills training and small-business support.

“I’d like to reassure those affected workers that we are listening to you and that through a multi-agency approach we will ensure you have access to the full range of available support services.

“Meanwhile we will continue to work closely with Anglo American in navigating this challenging period and supporting the company’s long-term commitment to polyhalite fertiliser extraction in our region”.

Earlier this week, it was reported capital investment in the scheme is set to be reduced from a planned £800m a year up to 2027 to £160m next year following the rejection of a multibillion-pound takeover bid by BHP.

Tom McCulley CEO said: “We are slowing down the development of Woodsmith in a way that allows us to accelerate again as soon as we can.”

A company spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We are still in a consultation period but the proposed changes will see the Anglo American workforce gradually reduce over the coming year by approximately 50 per cent to 160 people.”

The spokesperson said they did not know “the exact numbers” of impacted roles for contractor partners but added that reductions would be gradual as the work slows “over the coming 12 months”.