The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation has launched its public fundraising campaign at Betteshanger Park. The launch saw Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Chair, Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, make a public appeal to help raise £250,000 towards the Foundation’s £1.8 million fundraising target. The campaign, and the work of the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, will support the development of the Betteshanger Project on the former colliery site, near Deal, a major regeneration project for East Kent.
Tamasin Jarrett, Development Manager, appealed to a crowd of press, supporters and stakeholders: “Today we’re launching a public appeal to enable the community to play a part in the future of the Betteshanger Project. We are offering the opportunity for people to donate and receive their own, limited edition, miners’ pit check and upload a photograph to become part of the huge collage of the Waiting Miner. We have already raised £1.3m towards the required £1.8m, we’re nearly there! We now just need the support of park users and our local community to get this amazing project over the line.”
The Betteshanger Project forms part of the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks development at former Colliery
The public are invited to ‘make their donation personal’ and can choose from two main products to mark their support:
- The Waiting Miner Collage: put yourself in the picture
From as little as £10, a photo tile can be purchased to become part of a huge 5m tall mosaic installation of the iconic Waiting Miner, which will be displayed on the café wall in the new Visitor Centre.
- The Miners’ Pit Check: personalise your pit check
Every miner had their own personal, numbered pit check. From £50, a personalised, limited edition pit check can be purchased and will be displayed in an installation at the entrance to the new Visitor Centre. The donor can choose their limited edition number, pit check shape and have their name engraved for complete personalisation. They will also receive a duplicate of the pit check as a keepsake.
Mr. Lumsdon-Taylor continued: “The way in which we manage our environment is changing. Why not build a flagship facility here in East Kent? That was the question asked of me ten years ago, and, ten years later, we are building one of the longest buildings in Europe.”
“I’m really proud in saying ‘it’s nearly finished’ but this is only the start. This is about providing a proper, life-long legacy. Betteshanger is more than just this park, it is flagship regeneration project for the county.”
The unique and ambitious project is currently in its first phase, which includes the development of a new £9.5m state-of-the-art Visitor Centre, encompassing the Kent Mining Museum and Green Energy Centre. The impressive 175m long building will provide retail and cycling facilities, education, conferencing, events, gardens and public spaces, as well as acting as an iconic gateway to the 250-acre country park with its exceptional leisure and recreation facilities.
Peter Williams, Vice-Chair, Kent Mining Heritage Foundation Development Group said “What we have here is a unique story, which is currently untold. We’re working together to tell this story to generations of the future. This project was planned very carefully with three objectives; healthy living, sustainable energy and of course heritage.”
Before the guests were led on a hard-hat tour of the new Visitor Centre, Mr Lumsdon-Taylor announced the opening date will be 30 March 2019.
The Foundation has been working closely with Betteshanger Park, Hadlow Group, Aylesham and Elvington & Eythorne Heritage Centres to raise £1.8m to support the Betteshanger Project, with £1.3m raised to date. The Project forms part of the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks development on the former Betteshanger Colliery.
For more about the project and to pledge your support see: https://support.betteshangerparks.co.uk/