THE closure of the power station which has been a major employer for decades is set to have devastating financial and social impact on the close-knit community of Ferrybridge.
Residents and business owners have spoken of their shock at the prospect of losing the power plant.
Ferrybridge Community Centre manager Rachel Speak, 41, said her 18-year-old son Brandon was hoping to secure an apprenticeship at the power station after studying electrical engineering at college.
She added: “I can’t see them taking people on now. He is going to be really disappointed. I have got a lot of friends who have worked there who are going to lose their jobs.
“We run a lot of clubs here, like dancing and karate. When adults lose their jobs it has a knock-on effect on kids.”
Businesswoman Amanda Clarke, 49, said she may have thought twice about buying the Bus Stop Butty Box Cafe on The Square at Ferrybridge 10 months ago if she had know what was to come.
She said: “Contractors come and stay in Ferrybridge so it’s very important for business. Plus we have got regular customers coming from there as well
“It would be a big blow to Ferrybridge if the power station shut down. There are locals that have worked there for years and years. I think it will affect everybody’s business in Ferrybridge and the local areas as well.”
Neil Fisher, 47, who works at the Stolze Flaconnage glass plant in Knottingley, said: “The majority of people working at the power station will be from Ferrybridge and Knottingley. They will all have to find work and there’s not much round here. Once the power station is gone there is only the glass works left.”
Steve Hooson, 50, of Knottingley said: “The pits have gone and now the power station is going. The area will be annihilated. I’m a maintenance manager at Rogerthorpe Manor hotel, seven miles away. Business will be affected there when the power station closes. It will affect businesses across a wide area of Wakefield.”
Keith Fisher, 60, is a retired worker at the Stolze Flaconnage glass plant in Knottingley. Mr Fisher echoed other residents’ views about the impact the closure of Ferrybridge Power Station would have. He said: “I would have thought it will have a big impact on the area. There are a lot of local workers.”