Kent

£40m former Kent coal mining site project start marked

Artist's impression of regeneration scheme Image copyright other
Image caption The project for the former Betteshanger Colliery is a three-phase development

A ceremony has been held to mark the start of a £40m regeneration project at the site of a former Kent coal mine.

Hadlow College is transforming the Betteshanger Colliery into a heritage and business park focussing on green technology and renewable energy.

The three-phase development will include the Kent Mining Heritage Museum, a visitor centre and office space and business units.

Betteshanger was the last of Kent's collieries to close, in 1989.

The project was officially launched in November 2013 and will transform the 121-hectare former colliery which is Kent's largest brownfield site.

It is hoped the park will eventually attract 10,000 visitors a year.

Jim Davies, of the Betteshanger and Mill Hill Heritage Group, said: "It is something we can pass on to the next generation.

"I give talks at schools where children do not even know what coal is but when this new heritage centre is up and running we will be able to show them what it was."

Image caption A ceremony was held to mark the start of work at the Betteshanger colliery site.

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