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29 Oct 2021

Lancashire-based mining and heritage project receives funding boost

Healthy Arts, in partnership with Red Rose Steam Society Ltd, has gained significant National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) support and funding from Peel L&P. 

The local not-for-profit arts organisation specialising in heritage projects will receive £69,815 from the NLHF for an exciting project entitled ‘The Mine Is Yours – Industry at the Heart of the Community’, based at the Lancashire Mining Museum in Astley. Made possible by money raised from National Lottery players, the 18-month project will deliver a programme of creative arts and wellbeing activities and workshops for local community groups, exploring the mining and natural heritage of the site and the local area.

With additional investment from Wigan Council and Peel L&P of £10,000 respectively, the project will also enable a celebratory arts and heritage festival to take place at the museum in September 2022.

Between lockdowns, Healthy Arts managed to mount an original promenade performance at Astley Green Colliery as part of the Carbon Landscape project in September 2020. This sparked conversations and the idea to bring more heritage interpretation to the museum, with the aim of encouraging visitors and volunteers to enjoy the location more creatively and learn about our rich industrial past whole reconnecting the landscape with local people.

Lancashire Mining Museum’s impressive 98-feet high steel lattice headgear is in desperate need of restoration and repair. ‘The Mine Is Yours’ project hopes to help generate footfall and income to the site so that a case can be made for preserving such a key historical landmark of our industrial heritage.

As well as the music festival, there will be numerous opportunities for groups, schools and individuals to sign up to taking part in the creative programme – with activities being designed to include creative writing, visual arts, performance and film-making.

Charlotte Ryan, Senior Development Manager for Land and Communities at Peel L&P said: “Many of our projects are connected to land with an important local mining history and we want to work with the community to help preserve and celebrate this heritage.

“We’re excited to support the upcoming festival at Lancashire Mining Museum to keep these stories alive for generations to come and we’re pleased Healthy Arts has been recognised at a national level too.”

Healthy Arts is an organisation that works with all members of the community to help them learn about heritage in creative ways, developing communication skills and building pride and confidence in local history. Julie McKiernan, Chair of Healthy Arts, says, “We are delighted to have received this grant. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will support the community in invigorating Lancashire Mining Museum as a creative and educational tourist destination”.

An introductory presentation will take place on Sunday 21st November between 2pm and 3.30pm, including a tour of the site, refreshments and presentations from LMM volunteers and Healthy Arts staff.

If you would like to attend or find out more about the project, including community groups, schools or organisations who are keen to be involved, please contact Martin or Julie on 07542 114383 or email contactus@healthyarts.org.uk