Betteshanger Sustainable Park granted Heritage Lottery funding

The Betteshanger Sustainable Park project has been granted £215,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) specifically to support the Kent Mining Heritage Museum.

The HLF application was for a two-stage development and delivery process totaling £1.5 million. The initial £215,000 first round grant that has been confirmed will support the development phase of the Kent Mining Heritage Museum including recruitment of the design team and other key posts.

The museum will form a vital part of the 121 hectare Betteshanger Sustainable Park, a 21st century environmental complex, the first £40 million phase of which is predicted to result in the creation of 1,000 jobs thus giving the long awaited and much needed socio-economic boost to the entire area.

Devised to celebrate and preserve Kent’s coal mining heritage, the museum will embrace a nationally significant collection of objects, archives and people’s memories, many of which would otherwise be in danger of being lost forever.

The Kent coalfield was unique in being established during the twentieth century.  At that time, Kent did not have any mining skills and the new coalfield drew miners from all over the country.

Betteshanger is the site of the last mine to be closed (1989) in Kent since when the entire area has suffered a series of devastating economic and social setbacks.

The project has received the encouragement, help and support of Dover District Council; MP for Dover and Deal Charlie Elphicke; Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Penny Mordaunt; East Kent Spatial Development; Coastal Communities Fund; Homes and Communities Agency and Kent Country Council.

Betteshanger Sustainable Park is part of the Hadlow Group. Led by Hadlow College, the Group includes Betteshanger Sustainable Park, West Kent College, Ashford College, Hadlow Rural Community School, Produced in Kent and Hadlow Pre-school.

Richard Morsley, Director, Betteshanger Sustainable Park, said: ‘The success of the HLF funding application recognises the importance of East Kent's coal mining heritage and the need to secure this heritage for future generations.  The Kent Mining Heritage Museum will be a venue where this heritage is explored and where Kent's unique position as a new coalfield community formed in the twentieth century, drawing miners from all over the UK, can be better understood.  This will be drawn together in an experience which is exciting and engaging for visitors of all ages – young and old.’

Contact:  Pat Crawford, Press & PR Manager, The Hadlow Group  

01732 852243 / 07771 635684.

Posted on 06/01/2015