The underground tours at the NCM © National Coal Mining Museum for England
A ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign has been launched to help renovate the National Coal Mining Museum for England’s historic furnace shaft. The shaft forms part of the underground tour and is in need of conservation work in order for it to be enjoyed by future generations.
The scheme has been given a kick-start by Barclays Plc, who have donated £2,000 to the project. It is hoped this campaign will raise the extra funds needed in addition to a recent grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £1.95 million.
The tour attracts 130,000 visitors a year to travel 140 metres underground to experience what mining would have been like. Once the renovation work is complete, visitors will be able to walk alongside the bottom of the furnace shaft, thought to be around 130 years old, and look up 140 metres to the surface.
Baroness Morris of Yardley, the Chair of the Museum, said: “Our plans to develop the whole underground for the public will result in a much more interactive experience and will ensure that coal mining history is preserved for future generations.”
The grant from the HLF was recently donated to aid the expansion of the underground tours and to introduce interactive displays, as well as the conservation of the furnace shaft.
Individuals and businesses can ‘Buy a Brick’ at a cost of either £10 per brick or £100 per row. Visit www.ncm.org.uk/buyabrick for more details.