ALMOST three quarters of people living in ex-coal mining communities said they’d seen little or no progress towards levelling up in their area, a new study has revealed.

Nearly 2,500 people were surveyed in former mining areas across England, Scotland and Wales - including in Barnsley - using company Survation to capture their views and experiences.

A total of 73 per cent of people in Yorkshire said they’d seen little or no progress towards levelling up their area.

Overall, the biggest worry people have about their children’s future in their local area was the prospect of getting a job.

Darren Wood, 49, a single father-of-two who lives in Goldthorpe, said he had been looking for work for five years.

He added: “You can apply for stuff, check your emails and you don’t get any replies.

“They don’t get back to you, not even a ‘no, sorry you’re not suitable or been successful’.

“It does grind you down.”

However, among women, more highlighted money or poverty as their biggest concern.

A quarter of respondents had borrowed money from friends and family in the last 12 months, and a quarter also said they had sold possessions to raise money.

Women were considerably more likely than men to have done both of these things.

Charlotte Williams, chief executive of Station House, a charity in Thurnscoe which provides heavily subsidised childcare and supports families - and was a soup kitchen and community hub during the miners’ strike - said: “To live in Thurnscoe is a great experience, but it has its challenges.

“These challenges aren’t always caused by the people who live here.

“Poverty, transport, access to health care, access to employment, and at time it does tipple into antisocial behaviour and some of the other things we associate with poverty.

“But what we need to remember is - nobody made themselves poor here.

“It’s by circumstance.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up said: “We’re supporting everyone, everywhere in the UK - including those in former coalfield communities - to improve their everyday lives through our £15bn levelling up programmes.

“This includes a £1bn long-term plan to regenerate towns over the next ten years.”

Most people said their family had supported the miners’ strike.

However, only a quarter of people thought the strike had been effective.

Men are more likely to say the strike was not effective compared to women.

More than half of the respondents said they lived within ten miles of where they’d grown up - and three quarters said they lived within 30 miles.

Two-thirds of people said they knew who Arthur Scargill was.

Unsurprisingly, the figure was much higher among older respondents - 99 per cent for over 65s.