Betteshanger Project Hits £1 Million Fundraising Milestone

The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation has reached £1m of its £1.8m fundraising target for the Betteshanger Project

KENT, 29 MAY 2018: The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation is celebrating reaching a momentous £1million of funding towards the development and support of the Betteshanger Project, a significant step in its goal of £1.8million.

The Foundation is working closely with Betteshanger Park, Hadlow Group, Aylesham and Elvington & Eythorne Heritage Centres to support the Betteshanger Project which is based in Deal. The Project forms part of the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks development on the former Betteshanger Colliery.

The unique and ambitious project is already in its first phase, and includes a new £9.5m Visitor Centre, encompassing the Kent Mining Museum and Green Energy Centre. It will provide retail, cycling facilities, education, conferencing, events, gardens and public spaces. It will also act as an iconic gateway to the 250-acre country park with its exceptional leisure and recreation facilities. These elements will bring together the Project’s three unique appeals; heritage, sustainability, and health and wellbeing.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Hadlow Group and Chair of Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, commented on the milestone: “Betteshanger is a huge project for the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation and for the Hadlow Group, and reaching the million mark is a huge step for the fundraising campaign. The Betteshanger Project will have such a vast impact, not only on the East Kent community, but across the whole county and reaching to international audiences. We will be a flagship sustainability project and a showcase of health and wellbeing. We will transform the facilities on the former spoil heap beyond all recognition for all to enjoy. I would like to personally thank all those who have supported the campaign to date and I hope it will inspire others to get involved.”

The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, which was established in 2016, has raised a significant amount towards its fundraising target though corporate sponsorship, grants from trusts and foundations, and individual donations. Recent supporters of the campaign that have helped the Foundation break the £1m mark, include the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Rochester Bridge Trust and the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust, amongst others. When complete, the project will inject £6.2m every year into the local economy of one of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK.

Andrew Freeman, Operations Manager for the Rochester Bridge Trust, said: “Congratulations to the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation for reaching the £1 million mark in its fundraising campaign. The Trust is pleased to be a supporter of this endeavour, having donated £25,000 towards the installation of interpretation and showcases for the museum, and we look forward to seeing these in place when the Visitor Centre opens in 2019.”

Betteshanger Park is built upon the extraordinary history of Betteshanger Colliery which shaped the unique landscape. For almost ninety years, mining was at the heart of the East Kent community, with the Kent Coalfield (Betteshanger, Chislet, Tilmanstone and Snowdown) employing over 150,000 men and extracting over one hundred million tonnes of coal. The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation looks to collect, preserve and promote Kent’s coal mining heritage, along with helping to provide state-of-the-art facilities to promote leisure, sustainability, health and social welfare.

Peter Bettley from the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust, said “RDHCT Trustees were pleased to support the project, recognising the importance of the heritage of Betteshanger, and the potential that it offers to educate and inform people of all ages, whilst bringing new purpose to the site.”

ENDS

Editor’s Notes:

About The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation

The Kent Mining Heritage Foundation (KMHF) is a registered charity (charity no. 1165403) working in partnership with Betteshanger Park, Hadlow Group, Aylesham and Elvington & Eythorne Heritage Centres to collect, care and promote East Kent’s coal mining heritage.

The Foundation aims to:

  • Advance public education of Kent’s mining heritage and sustainable energy technologies
  • Provide facilities that promote health and social welfare, especially for those who suffer due to age, disability, financial hardship or social disadvantage
  • Empower communities to improve their lives through the provision of education, skill-sharing and leisure activities

Specifically for Betteshanger, the project aims are to:

  • Establish a Museum that records and displays the century-long history of coal mining in East Kent
  • Transform the former Colliery into a centre for sustainable energy
  • Improve the sport and leisure activities on the 250-acre site

 Supporters to date include:

Trusts & Foundations: Garfield Weston Foundation; Coalfields Regeneration Trust; Crown Charitable Trust; Foyle Foundation; Gerry Pack Charitable Trust; John Swire 1989 CT; Postcode Local Trust; East Kent Leader Programme; R G Hills Charitable Trust; Rochester Bridge Trust; Roger De Haan Charitable Trust; Association of Independent Museums; Aylesham & District Community Workshop; Big Lottery Fund; Brachers Charity; Chapman Charitable Trust; Cornwallis Charitable Trust; Cllr Mike Eddy; Edna Rosemarie Linnell Charitable Trust;  Sir Charles Jessel Charitable Trust, J F Charitable Fund; KCC Travel Grant; Lord and Lady Northbourne (Betteshanger Charity); Port of Dover Community Fund; Royal St. George’s Community Endowment Fund.

Corporates: Apex Cleaning; Clagues Architects; George Hammond PLC; Independent Insurance Services; Jenner Contractors Ltd; Ovendens; Quinn Estates; Star Cargo PLC; Thomas & Partners;        W Laslett & Sons; McIntyre Hudson; Woodley Coles

And over £100k from private supporters.