LONG-TERM inequalities remain in ex-coalfield communities such as Barnsley and investment is required to turn around their fortunes, a ground-breaking inquiry has concluded.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coalfield Communities - which has received support from Barnsley MPs - was launched last year and aimed to work out what still needs to be done to regenerate mining towns.

Although progress has been made to regenerate former coalfield communities, they still lag behind on most indicators of prosperity and wellbeing, MPs believe.

Findings, revealed on Wednesday, said former coalfield areas offer too many poorly paid jobs, and that trickle-down job growth from big cities isn’t working.

The inquiry also found that investment for infrastructure, skills and training - and support for businesses - is needed for growing the local economy.

Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, attended the inquiry’s Parliamentary event, during which they revealed the results of the investigation.

She said: “I was pleased to be able to hear the results - the inquiry clearly showed that coalfield areas need more support.

“The report’s recommendations must be taken seriously if local economies of former coalfield areas are to grow.

“I am glad that the group has undertaken this task, and I hope that the results will encourage the government to commit to the investment we need in former coalfield areas.”