King Edward Mine, the oldest complete mine left in Cornwall, reopened in May 2017 following vital restoration.The Troon site, within the Great Flat Lode landscape, offers an incredible insight into the region’s industrial heritage and its 100 years as a place for training new generations of mining engineers. After a £1.1million National Lottery grant, plus a lot of hard work and community support, there has been a year of conservation work to 16 Grade II* listed buildings. The derelict former Assay Office has reopened in April 2017 as a community café while the historic boiler house has been saved and turned into a further exhibition space.
Perfect Moment wrote the business plan as part of a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding to undertake a range of capital works which will conserve core buildings and enhance the visitor experience at King Edward Mine, the world's oldest complete 19th and early 20th century mine site. In December 2014, the project was awarded £1.12m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards total project costs of £1.65m
King Edward Mine is the oldest, best preserved mine within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The site demonstrates key authentic aspects of Cornish mining industry, including the most complete collection of 20th century tin dressing plant in the world, much of which has been restored to working order. All of the mine buildings survive and retain the appearance and character of around 1907, when Camborne School of Mines equipped the mine's Mill with the most up to date surface machinery of the time.
A group of individuals, who later became King Edward Mine Ltd, have spent over 20 years expertly restoring and, where possible, bringing back much of this machinery into working order - many items are rare or unique survivals of this industrial era.
Perfect Moment worked with the trustees to develop a sustainable business model and create long term sustainability based on increased visitor numbers. The business plan included a market appraisal and financial assessments, as well as exploring governance, building capacity in the staff and volunteer teams and looking at ways to increase visitor engagement.
"Our successful bid to HLF in November 2014 was a huge step forward towards us realising our vision for King Edward Mine. Kevin was enormously helpful in helping us develop a realistic but challenging business plan. Kevin listened to what we wanted to achieve, understood out strengths and weaknesses and guided us through the process with great enthusiasm and patience." Kevin Baker Chair of Trustees of King Edward Mine
As a result of the successful application, funding from HLF will enable conservation of core buildings at King Edward Mine, the creation of a new community cafe, as well as new exhibition space and enhancement of the visitor experience, alongside employment and community engagement activities.
Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: "King Edward Mine is the oldest complete early 20th century mine site left in Cornwall and an important reminder of the area's long and proud mining heritage. HLF support will enable Cornwall Council to conserve some of the most historic parts of the site as well as vastly improving the visitor offer via a new café and community space for all to enjoy."
Kevin Baker, Chairman of King Edward Mine Ltd, said: "We are very proud of the fact that the museum is award-winning and that so many of our visitors learn about the heritage of the site, but we took on buildings already in very poor condition which has limited what we've been able to do to develop the site's potential. Without this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we could never have raised funds locally for the conservation of the core buildings, nor indeed for creating a new café and exhibition space. We are now hoping to attract more volunteers to become part of King Edward Mine's future, and that more people in the community will be encouraged to come and enjoy the site and take part in the host of events and activities that we are planning."
For more information on King Edward Mine, please visit their website here