Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…£4M INVESTMENT FOR COLLIERYPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
A £4m investment from national regeneration agency English Partnerships in the former Haig colliery site and the present mining museum at Whitehaven, is set to boost the town’s tourism economy and stimulate further investment.
The colliery, which closed in 1986, was added to the National Coalfields Programme in 2002 which aims to create new jobs, homes, leisure facilities and open space in former coalfield communities throughout England.
The funding will help to transform the former colliery site into a more pleasant environment thereby improving the setting of the adjacent housing area and providing an attractive landscape to the Haig Mining Museum, helping to attract more tourists to the town.
The Museum, which traces the history of mining in the area, is located in the former pithead and engine room of the colliery and currently attracts 10,000 visitors per year.
The plans include proposals to landscape 37 hectares of the site and to link the harbour to the cliff-top museum with a new footpath and a cycle trail. A plaza area with seating and lighting will encourage people to stop and enjoy the sea views.
There will also be improvements to Kells Rugby Club – an important part of the local community – which could include new changing rooms and work to the pitch as well as new lighting and surfacing of the gravelled access track.
The proposals were the subject of a public consultation at the end of 2004 which attracted more than 1,000 visitors.
Partners behind the scheme are English Partnerships, which is funding the clean-up and regeneration of the site as part of its National Coalfields Programme, Copeland Borough Council, which owns the site, urban regeneration company West Lakes Renaissance and London County Council.
It is intended that the site will be offered to the Land Restoration Trust for long-term management.