Room to grow for Cleveland’s ironstone legacy

Room to grow for Cleveland’s ironstone legacy

Outside view of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum
Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum has taken the first step on the road to a landmark project set to bring expansion, employment and tourism to Skinningrove’s Iron Valley.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the museum has received initial support from HLF for the £800,000 Room to Grow project.

With popular demand for the museum’s heritage and education services more than doubling in the past four years, space has run out and more room is desperately needed.

[quote= Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East]“This project will build on the legacy of the dedicated group of volunteers and ex-miners who opened the museum over three decades ago.” [/quote]

The project will secure the future of the museum’s collection, create new exhibition space and transform existing facilities for schools, visitors and researchers.

Situated on the site of Loftus Mine, the first mine to open in Cleveland – as well as being the last to close – the museum celebrates the legacy of ironstone mining and the industrial heritage of the region. The Tees Valley was a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire, with its 83 ironstone mines supplying iron worldwide, forming the fabric of railways and bridges across Europe, America, Africa, India and Australia.

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “On the site of Cleveland’s first and longest standing ironstone mine, Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum tells the story of the industry from its peak production period to its subsequent decline – resulting in the largest collection of ironstone mining heritage in the country. This project will build on the legacy of the dedicated group of volunteers and ex-miners who opened the museum over three decades ago.”

The museum is in the process of raising match funding of £700,000 through charitable trusts and foundations as well as generous donations from individuals. It will then apply for the full grant. If successful, construction is set to begin in January 2017.