Kent Mining Museum

A new museum, which will share and celebrate the history of mining in Kent, will open in late spring 2017.

The Kent Mining Museum is built on the site of the county’s last working coal mine in Betteshanger in Kent and will form part of Betteshanger Sustainable Park’s new visitor centre.

The museum will feature interactive displays, photographic records, personal stories and artefacts, which will help visitors discover more about Kent’s mining heritage, how coal was mined and the day-to-day lives of the miners who worked at the collieries. The museum will also look at modern and sustainable forms of energy.

The new visitor centre will also house the Green Energy Centre, a restaurant, a cycle centre and event facilities.

Betteshanger Sustainable Park received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to build the museum.

Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: “Kent’s mining heritage isn’t as well-known as other parts of the country, but it was of national importance and changed the social and economic make-up of the region. East Kent is the only coalfield without its own regional museum and our committee felt that this project is a fitting way to celebrate and preserve this industrial past.”

Jim Davies a former Betteshanger miner added: “The closure of the colliery was a huge blow to the miners, their families and the local people. It is wonderful to see the new visitor centre rise from the ashes. The Mining Museum will incorporate the whole Kent coalfield, providing an invaluable legacy. Visitors will be able to learn more about what it was like for us and our memories will be preserved for future generations.”

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