MY/PT celebrates 2nd birthday

MY/PT, the military fitness provider based at Betteshanger Park, near Deal, has celebrated two years of business success this week.

Since its official opening in January 2017, MY/PT has offered daily fitness sessions to over 200 clients on the former colliery site at Betteshanger.

Director, Jay Ingram, launched MY/PT fresh from having served 16 years in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. The business aims to helping people of all abilities to achieve their fitness goals, to improve well-being and support mental health in a safe, supportive outdoor environment.

The MY/PT facility includes a substantial military-style obstacle course with 34 obstacles and fitness sessions include calisthenics, obstacle course skills, interval training, body resistance, weekly themed team challenges and full-battle style physical training. During its two years of operation, and in addition to the daily sessions, MY/PT has helped over 65 children celebrate their birthday, hosted over 40 school groups and run 20 team building sessions (corporates and sports teams).

In partnership with Betteshanger Park, MY/PT also runs its annual headline event SURVIVAL. Badged as Kent’s toughest military obstacle course race (OCR), the 2018 event saw over 450 runners complete the challenging course. The event was shortlisted in six categories in the annual Mudstacle Awards, the only awards dedicated to recognising what is the greatest and best in the obstacle racing world.

Jay Ingram said: “It has been a whirlwind of two years and I’m incredibly pleased with how MY/PT has grown. We started with just a handful of clients and now have over 90 members who regularly join our sessions. We have a ‘team’ ethos at MY/PT and we pride ourselves on working very closely with our members to help them achieve their goals. It fills me with pride to see individuals developing, improving fitness levels and, in many cases, forming lifelong friendships.”

“Thanks to the unbelievable support of local business we have been able to constantly evolve and improve the obstacles throughout our course, meaning that sessions never get repetitive and our clients are continually challenged. I’m also pleased to be in a position to work with some fantastic local charities – KM Charity, Martha Trust and the National Citizens Service. The first two years are merely the start and we have lots of exciting plans to take the business further in the future.”

To celebrate its second birthday and to help keep New Year’s Resolutions on track, MY/PT is offering half price membership throughout January.

To find out more, to sign up for a session or to book for SURVIVAL: www.betteshanger-park.co.uk/mypt

ENDS

Countdown begins to Betteshanger’s big reveal

With just months to go until Betteshanger Sustainable Parks opens a new state-of-the-art visitor centre, including the Kent Mining Museum, an open day is being held to give local people an update on progress at the 121-hectare former colliery site near Deal.

Taking place on Saturday, November 3, the event will mark five months until the grand opening party on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Phase I of the Sustainable Parks development will include a new visitor centre encompassing the Kent Mining Museum, mining-themed outdoor play equipment, walking trails and improved activity facilities.

Guests who pre-book for the open day can take part in a hard hat tour of the building site, giving them an exclusive glimpse of the facilities to come. They will also have the opportunity to speak to the team about plans for the Kent Mining Museum, which has been designed to celebrate and preserve Kent’s coal mining heritage, plus membership and volunteering opportunities.

Richard Morsley, Director of Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, said: “We have been on a long journey to provide much improved facilities for the local community. The end is in sight and the team is excited about what lies ahead. We are using the quieter winter period to prepare for the opening and to ensure the site will be looking its best come March. Landscaping is an important part of the design so we need to give it time to bed in.”

Demolition of the old café and visitor centre, cycle hire and park office will begin week commencing Monday, November 5. However, at the same time a temporary space in the car park will open providing a small café, toilets and cycle hire so visitors will still be able to enjoy the park. During the works, some of the mountain bike trails will be re-routed, with the trails starting and finishing on ‘The Green’.

Richard Morsley continued: “As always, the safety of our visitors remains a priority. Throughout the winter, we will maintain access to as much as the park as possible, keeping in mind the long-term goal of bigger, better facilities for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information on the open day, which takes place from 10am to 3pm, and to book a free hard hat tour, visit www.betteshanger-park.co.uk/events/open-day.

ENDS

SURVIVAL2: rocks Betteshanger Park

Betteshanger Park and MY/PT joined forces for a second year to host Kent’s toughest military obstacle course race (OCR), SURVIVAL at the former colliery site, near Deal, on Saturday, October 6.

The event saw 454 runners complete the challenging course spread across the unpredictable terrain of the old spoil heap. The inaugural junior race challenged 212 eight to fifteen year olds to a 2.5km course whilst 235 adults conquered a 10km route packed with over 70 obstacles.

Competitors were pushed physically and mentally running, jumping, swinging, wading, crawling, cycling and hauling their bodies through a series of muddy man-made and natural obstacles before crossing the finish line.

Dan Sinclair upheld the fastest finisher title for the second year and Nick Hassall was hailed course champion by completing the course THREE times.

All finishers were awarded a SURVIVAL2 medal and t-shirt.

Jay Ingram, Director, MY/PT said: “SURVIVAL2 has been a huge success. We’ve grown the adult event from 2017 and introduced a junior race for the first time. We listened hard to the feedback from last year and put it all into play for the year. We promised more mud and more obstacles which we certainly delivered on, plus we added a few surprises along the way.”

“Our sponsors this year have been incredible and have enabled us to take the event to the next level. The team from Fight Klub Thanet warmed everyone up a treat before the race and the teams from All Access Scaffolding, TW Services, White Land Solutions, C. J. Gray, MScape Landscaping Services, Hewbourne Ltd, Major Fabrications, Crushingtons, Brandon Hire, Intercrop Ltd and the Bridal Boutique of Jules really pulled it out of the bag with the building the course and our print and signage sponsor JustSigns really helped us put the event on the map.”

Richard Morsley, Director, Betteshanger Park, said: “SURVIVAL2 exceeded all of our expectations. A bigger course, bigger obstacles and a whole lot more mud! We have increased the number of runners 60% compared to last year and have no doubt that the 2019 event will grow further still. We urge everyone to sign up for SURVIVAL 2019 and benefit from the early bird rates.”

Registration for the 2019 event, taking place on 5 October 2019, is now open via betteshanger-park.co.uk/survival. Early bird rates run until 31 October 2018.

Quotes from participants (sourced via social media):

“A gruelling obstacle course race, this was probably the best OCR I have ever done”

“Blew the socks off last year, thanks for putting together another great event”

“Absolutely loved it! My first time doing anything like this. 6 months ago I couldn’t even run!”

“Well done for putting what looks like a beast of a course together. Going to definitely put you on the OCR map once and for all… bring it on.”

SURVIVAL2: Kent’s military obstacle course race returns to Betteshanger Park.

Betteshanger Park and MY/PT have joined forces for a second year to host Kent’s military obstacle course race, SURVIVAL. SURVIVAL2 will take place at the former colliery site, near Deal, on Saturday, October 6.

The event will challenge competitors to a 10km race (4km longer than 2017) packed with man-made and natural obstacles spread across the unpredictable terrain of the old spoil heap. Competitors will have to run, jump, swing, wade, crawl, ride and haul their bodies through a series of brutal obstacles before crossing the finish line.

New additions for 2018 are SURVIVAL ELITE, a dedicated wave for hard core OCR runners, allowing unlimited access to the course, and SURVIVAL JUNIOR, a 2.5km route for fearless 8 to 15 year olds.

The endurance event will challenge competitors’ mental and physical ability, whilst also encouraging some serious outdoor fun. All finishers will be awarded a SURVIVAL2 medal.

Jay Ingram, Director, MY/PT said: “I am extremely excited to be bringing SURIVAL back to Betteshanger Park for a second year. We learnt a lot from our first event and have taken time to review the feedback. 2018 is going to be epic! We’re promising competitors a load more mud, plenty more obstacles and a more challenging course than ever before.”

“We know the motivations for entering the race will be different for everyone. For some, it will be about being the first over the finish line whilst for others, completing the course will be about celebrating personal achievement and racing at their own pace. I am particularly excited about the additions of SURVIVAL ELITE, which we are pitching at the most competitive racers, and SURVIVAL JUNIOR. Keeping kids active is so important and this event encapsulates outdoor fun within a safe environment.”

Richard Morsley, Director, Betteshanger Park, said: “SURVIVAL2 is for anyone who has a sense of adventure and a strong determination. The course is challenging enough for the most seasoned of racer but achievable for all levels of fitness. We urge everyone to sign up, fitness levels should certainly not be a barrier to entry and there is no time limit to complete the course. Everyone will get wet, muddy and covered in coal spoil but we guarantee everyone will have a smile on their face when they cross the finish line.”

Registration for the event is now open via betteshanger-park.co.uk/survival

Bank holiday daring delights at Betteshanger Park

Betteshanger Park, near Deal, is challenging visitors to unleash their inner adrenaline junkie and join them for Daredevil Weekend on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26.

Daredevil Weekend offers visitors a choice of seven exhilarating activities. They can take a leap of faith from the 8m high Free Fall Stunt Jump, tackle the Ninja Assault Course and brave Spider Mountain with its 7m vertical drop slide. Defeat the Lily Pad Run over Betteshanger’s spectacular Blue Lake, try out land zorbing, test their aim at Combat Archery and battle the military obstacle course.

Thrill-seekers and daredevils need only apply!

Keith Lee, Head of Programme, Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, said: “If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to jump out of a plane, fall from a building, roll around in a giant hamster ball, or you have a secret desire to be the next James Bond or Lara Croft, our Daredevil Weekend has your name on it.”

He continued: “The event has something for all ages and abilities and will be an unforgettable, action-packed way to spend the bank holiday weekend. We urge people to book wristbands in advance as we anticipate high demand for the activities.”

A ‘dare all day’ wristband, giving visitor’s unlimited access to activities for the whole day, is £15 per person in advance or £18 on the day. Tokens for individual activities can be purchased for £4 each (on the day only).

For more information and to purchase wristbands in advance see betteshanger-park.co.uk

Kent Mining Heritage Foundation Launches Public Fundraising Campaign

DEAL, 12th July 2018: 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 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 information about the campaign see: https://support.betteshangerparks.co.uk/ 

Kent Mining Heritage Foundation celebrates £100,000 grant from Port of Dover Community Fund

DOVER, 25 JUNE 2018: Following on from the news that it had hit £1 million worth of fundraising for the Betteshanger Project and historian David Starkey had become its first patron, the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation (KMHF) can announce further exciting news of a grant of £100,000 from The Port of Dover Community Fund.

The Port of Dover Community Fund was established to support projects that make a real difference to those living and working in the Dover district.

Betteshanger Pathways, the successful project submitted by the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, has been developed to provide a wide range of opportunities for young people from the Dover area who are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET). It will help young people to explore their natural abilities and interests in a way that develops tangible skills leading to future employment opportunities.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Deputy Group Principal and CEO Hadlow Group and chair Kent Mining Heritage Foundation commented on the programme: “From the outset, the Betteshanger Project has aspired to create a new economic identity for East Kent and our new ‘Betteshanger Pathways’ programme will directly support the social regeneration of the district. It will give much needed practical skills to a group of young people who are not currently engaging in education or employment. It will make a real difference not only to their lives but the community as a whole. We are thrilled to be in the receipt of the grant from the Port of Dover Community Fund and we are eager to begin embedding our programme.”

Betteshanger Pathways will engage 150 young people over the four year lifespan of the project. The 250-acre outdoor environment and new Visitor Centre at Betteshanger Park will provide the resources to deliver an education in a unique setting. The programme will include Estate Management, such as horticulture, tool handling, maintenance and environment protection, as well as the opportunity to work with the Activity Team on mountain biking, archery, geocaching, orienteering, shelter building, fossil hunting, and military fitness.

The activities are designed to aid skills around teamwork, problem solving, developing a positive attitude towards work, motivation, English language skills, numeracy and computer literacy.

The youngsters will be referred by local secondary schools, Kent County Council’s Early Help & Preventative Services, CXK and Jobcentre Plus, who will also be providing support.

The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover and Chair, Port of Dover Community Fund Advisory Panel, commented: “I am delighted that the Port of Dover Community Trust is able to support the extraordinary work being taken forward by the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation at Betteshanger Park. Helping young people to find purpose for their lives thus contributing to the wider community, is in my judgement, one of the most critical issues facing our society today.”

Delivery of the Betteshanger Pathway programme will begin in September 2018.

ENDS

For further media information on the Kent Mining Museum please contact Lynnette Crisp at Lynnette.Crisp@betteshangerparks.co.uk or call 01304 619227.

Notes to editors:

 The House of Commons Briefing Paper: “NEET: Young people not in education, training and employment” (2017) shows that not being in education, employment or training (NEET) between the ages of 16 and 18 is a major predictor of later unemployment, lower job security and lower rates of pay. There is also greater likelihood of teenage parenthood, depression and poor physical and mental health; persistent youth offending resulting in custodial sentences; insecure housing and homelessness; use of illicit drugs and transition to the use of class A drugs; poor relationships and early death. 34% of NEET young people have a learning difficulty. There are currently 725 NEET young people within the Dover district (Kent County Council: NEET Strategy)

David Starkey Announced as Patron for Kent Mining Heritage Foundation

Renowned Historian throwing weight behind project at former Betteshanger Colliery

Distinguished historian, author and TV personality David Starkey has become the first Patron of the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation (KMHF). The Foundation is helping build the Kent Mining Museum, a Green Energy Centre and upgrade the leisure and recreation facilities at the old Betteshanger Colliery site, as part of the Betteshanger Project.

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 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. These elements will bring together the Project’s three unique appeals; heritage, sustainability, and health and wellbeing.

David Starkey said: “This is an important project, both for Kent and particularly for the area south of Canterbury, embracing Dover, Deal and Thanet. Historically, the story of the growth of the Kent Coalfield, once coal had been discovered accidentally when they were trying to dig a tunnel linking Britain to France, will be told in the first Kent Mining Museum.”

Betteshanger Park would not exist had it not been for the extraordinary history of Betteshanger Colliery which shaped the unique landscape that is enjoyed by many today. During 100 years of mining, the Kent Coalfield (Betteshanger, Chislet, Tilmanstone and Snowdown) was at the heart of the East Kent community, employing over 150,000 men that extracted over one hundred million tonnes of coal.

Dr Starkey continued: “It is a unique story, because nowhere else, I believe, were tens of thousands of miners recruited and gathered together in an agricultural county which had absolutely no tradition of mining. Their integration with, and isolation from, the predominantly agricultural community is fascinating. Secondly financially, the contribution this Project will make to what is one of the most disadvantaged communities in Europe, is absolutely vital and deserves everyone’s support.”

The KMHF recently celebrated reaching a momentous £1million of funding towards the development and support of the Betteshanger Project, a significant step in its goal of £1.8million. It 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.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Chair, Kent Mining Heritage Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Starkey on board as our first Patron of the Foundation. To get someone, who is so passionate in his field but also so recognisable in the historical world is a huge boost for the work that the Kent Mining Heritage Foundation does. Following on from the news that we broke the £1m mark in our fundraising, it is a really exciting time for us and the Betteshanger Project.”

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.

 

Betteshanger Visitor Centre

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.

The Beast is back!

The world’s largest inflatable obstacle course, known as The Beast, will be returning to Betteshanger Park, near Deal, for the second year this May.

The formidable inflatable obstacle course will be at the popular park from Saturday, May 26 to Monday, May 28. And it will be a world-first, 384m long course – making it over 100 metres longer and a length that has never before been attempted.

The ultimate bouncy castle experience for adults first visited Betteshanger in 2017 as one of its first UK outings. Belgian owner, HOLD MY SHOES, has since taken The Beast on a European tour, stopping at venues such as Alexandra Palace, London, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham and National Basket Ball Arena, Dublin.

The planned 384m course will be a world-first. It will be the first time Hold My Shoes has constructed The Beast course beyond the standard 272m length.

Keith Lee, Head of Programme, Betteshanger Park said: “The Beast was one of Betteshanger’s most popular events for 2017 so knew we had to bring it back for a second year. We’ve been working with HOLD MY SHOES over the last couple of months to create a bigger, more elaborate course and we are thrilled that, at 384m, it will be the longest Beast ever constructed. We hope that our visitors are as excited as we are to welcome The Beast back to Betteshanger this May.”

He continued: “We urge people to book tickets sooner rather than later as we anticipate a high demand for tickets.”

Johan Bommerez, Project Manager, HOLD MY SHOES, said: “We’re excited to be working with Betteshanger again after the enormous success of The Beast last year. We’re also proud to be presenting this setup to the public, offering an even bigger and more awesome challenge to all visitors. HOLD MY SHOES promotes an active and healthy lifestyle, and what better way of doing this than by providing endless fun on World’s Biggest Inflatable in such a beautiful surrounding?”

Tickets will be on general sale from 9am on Friday, March 23. Betteshanger Members and newsletter subscribers will benefit from a special 24-hour pre-sale.

To gain access to priority tickets, sign up to the newsletter at
www.betteshanger-park.co.uk/the-beast

The Beast will be suitable for everyone aged 10 and over.

Image captions: The Beast © HOLD MY SHOES

ENDS

For further media information on Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, please contact Lynnette Crisp at Lynnette.Crisp@betteshangerparks.co.uk or call 01304 619227.

 

About Betteshanger Sustainable Parks:

  • Betteshanger Park, formerly Fowlmead Country Park, is operated as part of the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks scheme and is integral to the regeneration of the former mining community in East Kent. Facilities include a 3.5km road cycling track, 10km of mountain bike trails, leisure paths and established woodlands, wetlands and reed beds full of wildlife.
  • Betteshanger Sustainable Parks is part of the Hadlow Group, which includes Hadlow College, a premier UK land-based college, ranked Ofsted Outstanding.
  • The £40 million Betteshanger Sustainable Parks scheme, near Deal, in East Kent, will drive regeneration of the site and the area, combining sustainable business and commerce, education, sustainable energy and tourism.
  • Located on the site of the former Betteshanger colliery, the scheme will see the 121-hectare site transformed into a much-enhanced Country Park, with new Visitor Centre encompassing the Kent Mining Museum (due to open late 2018) and Betteshanger Business Park.