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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Milestone day for museum as foundation slab is laid

IT was a “milestone day” for Haig Mining Museum as the foundation slab was laid for its new visitor centre.

By Lucy Grosvenor

After years of planning, 150 tonnes of concrete foundations were poured into the base frame last week for the new £2.4m development.

Pamela Telford, manager of the Whitehaven museum, said: “This is such an exciting day for everyone, not just those involved with the project but for the whole community. We are finally seeing our ideas become a reality.”

The new centre will sit alongside the Grade II listed Powerhouse building where the museum will re-open in September.

The visitor centre will open in July.

Mrs Telford said: “This new-build will be a celebration of our heritage and culture.

“So many people in this area had grandads and dads who worked at the pit, this venture is our way of ensuring their legacy lives on.”

The centre has been designed by Ian Grice, of Hurd Rolland Partnerships, Manchester. It will have free entry and comprise a café, shop, reception, multi-function room, offices and an external play area.

The museum closed in August to enable staff and volunteers to empty the building, with the most valuable objects being placed with Carlisle Archive and larger pieces put into storage.

Andrew Ainsworth, a restoration volunteer for the museum, said: “Today is a milestone day for the team. We have made so much progress and the end is in sight now.”

Funding for the new centre has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund (NW), Copeland Community Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Foyle Foundation, WREN, Cumbria County Council, Charles Hayward Foundation, FLAG and The Gurney Trust.

Have your say

So proud to see that the haig pit museum is being set up & will be an asset to the town of Whitehaven. My dad was undermanager in the fifties & I have given photos of this era to the local archives. I do remember seeing the canaries in cages, the pit lamps in rows, I was a little girl when I went with my dad to check all was ok after Sunday school, unfortunately he passed away when I was only 9. Never forgotten.

Posted by norma maroquin (nee graham) on 22 March 2014 at 13:30

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