West Cumbria Mines Research Group
preserving heritage for future generations

charity number: 1118458


Florence Mine Heritage Centre milestones

Florence Mine Heritage Centre TeamWCMRG first became involved at Florence Mine in Feb 1988 as part of a joint tourism venture between the mining company and the local authority.

We offered to build a heritage centre to supplement the mining company's existing mine tours.

We officially opened with 2 museum rooms in 1994, but went on to add features and services using various grants and donations from a wide range of funders.

We gradually built up a Centre that contained a shop, café, museum, research room and a mock mine-working.

The Centre later employed a Supervisor in order to train New Deal unemployed to run our shop and be trained in computing.

Finally, a development manager was also employed to drive forward a major expansion of the Centre

This included a feasibility study, and business plan arranged through the local delivery body.

In addition our manager negotiated funds for, and the commissioning of, an alternative energy study to assist the mining company to fund pumping.

This was followed by the manager dealing with a wind turbine operator to look at this as a means of providing free energy for the site

Unfortunately, siting delays and soaring energy costs made the turbine provision unviable, and with no alternative source of energy, the mine would flood, and we would loose our main attractor of customers.

A decision by the mining company to seek consent to store nuclear waste, effectively removed any chance to make a tourism success with the site, and the Group has reluctantly decided to seek alternative premises for its collection, and its base of operations.

Accordingly, the Centre and its brand-name has now ceased; its website now replaced with this one.