BARCLAYS has kick-started the National Coal Mining Museum’s campaign to repair its historic furnace shaft.

The Buy a Brick campaign allows individuals and business to buy bricks to restore the 19th century structure, which is part of the museum’s underground tour.

It is hoped the campaign will complement a £1.95m Heritage Lottery Grant awarded to the museum in March.

Barclays handed over £2,000.

The project to repair the shaft, which is believed to be about 130 years old, is part of the NCMM’s ambition to revitalise its underground tour.

Once completed visitors will be able to walk along the bottom of shaft and stare 140 metres to the surface.

NCMM chairman Baroness Estelle Morris said: “This campaign is vital to ensure the continued development of the underground tour as an important way of communicating the history of mining to our visitors.

“Our plans to develop the whole underground for the public will result in a much more interactive experience and will ensure that coal mining history is preserved for future generations.”

Barclays corporate director Sarah Smith said: “We recognise more than ever the importance of working closely with the local community to create strong links and ties with the past, present and future. The NCMM is valuable asset to the region and we are very happy to support the renovation work.”

To purchase a brick at £10 or row of bricks at £100 visit