Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum has received £800,000 as part of the Coastal Community Fund Awards to improve and extend facilities at the Skinningrove tourist attraction.
Tom Blenkinsop said:
“East Cleveland has a proud history of mining and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland still has the highest number of miners of any constituency in the UK. It’s right that the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, which celebrates our proud mining past, gets the funds it needs to attract more visitors and provide a truly modern experience for those wanting to learn more about our area’s history.
“What stands out in this grant is the emphasis on classroom based activities being developed at the museum that will help integrate the museum’s work and treasures for the benefit of local school students.
“No one can be sure, but it’s likely the ironstone in Big Ben came from Cleveland mines – it’s nice to see money coming back from Westminster to ensure the mines that built Britain’s biggest icon are not forgotten.”
The museum, which had over 12,000 visitors in 2015, was founded by Tom Leonard, a local newspaper journalist who reported on the closure of ironstone mines in the 1950s and was determined that Cleveland’s mining past not be lost.
The Department for Communities and Local Government announced the award on Monday. The grant will go towards a ‘£1.76 million project to extend the existing museum buildings and improve facilities, to create a walk-round interactive museum, artefact storage, exhibition and classroom/performance space to allow all year round opening.’