It existed from the 1946 Labour Government 1945-1951's Coal Industry Nationalisation Act establishing the National Coal Board (NCB) (1946−1987), until the 1997 disestablishment of the British Coal Corporation (1987−1997).
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National Coal Board
British Coal was formed on 12 July 1946 as the National Coal Board (NCB), which was responsible for the organisation and running of coal extraction. It was under the responsibility of the Minister of Fuel & Power, who presented the board's reports to Parliament.
The vesting date for nationalised coal was 1 January 1947 when the assets of approximately eight hundred private colliery companies, the Coal Commission, the service contracts held by the colliery companies, and all staff from the district selling schemes that operated in the United Kingdom were transferred to the NCB.
The NCB formed two holding companies in 1973 to handle non-core (deep and opencast mining) activities: NCB (Coal Products) Limited and NCB (Ancillaries) Limited.
British Coal Corporation
In 1987, the NCB became the British Coal Corporation.
With the passing of the Coal Industry Act 1994, the 16th and last Coal Industry Act, the industry-wide administrative functions of British Coal were transferred to a new authority, the Coal Authority. All economic assets were privatised. The English mining operations were merged with RJB Mining to form UK Coal plc. This formed a monopoly that was exempted from EU competition laws.
The British Coal Corporation officially ceased on 26 January 1997.
- Ashworth, William, and Mark Pegg. History of the British Coal Industry: Volume 5: 1946-1982: The Nationalized Industry (1986)
- Brady, Robert A. (1950). Crisis in Britain. Plans and Achievements of the Labour Government. University of California Press., pp 77–131