A project to remember the lost lives of coal miners in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries has been given a cash boost.

The National Coal Mining Museum for England near Grange Moor has been awarded £30,000 from the SITA Trust for its project Miners’ Memorial Garden – Lives Lived, Lives Lost.

Coal mining was once dominated Britain’s economy but there is no national memorial in England which commemorates the role and contributions of individuals and communities.

The museum has worked in consultation with visitors and local people to develop plans to create a Miners’ Memorial Garden on its site in Wakefield Road.

National Coal Mining Museum victim named as inquest into tragedy launched
National Coal Mining Museum victim named as inquest into tragedy launched
 

The garden is envisaged as a place where visitors can sit and have space to reflect on the mining industry, not least those who lost their lives.

The money comes from the SITA Trust which gives grants to community and environmental projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from SITA Trust towards the Miners’ Memorial Garden.

“It feels very fitting to create the garden on the museum site in an area where generations of local people have worked in coal mining.

“The garden will be a communal space which will lift the spirits and act as a memorial to all coal miners, their communities and the industry as a whole.”

Jools Granville, of SITA Trust, added “The National Coal Mining Museum for England is a fitting location for a garden of memorial to those miners who lost their lives in the pits or had them shortened by the industry they worked in.

“A garden is particularly apt considering the great pride that many miners took in nurturing the nature around them when they were above surface.

“An area of contemplation and reflection within such a busy and well-used facility will also be greatly welcomed as a resource by the general public.”

The museum’s garden will be accessible by foot or light railway, with parking close by, looking out over the rural landscape still marked by coal mining references.

Its design will reflect its coal-mining context, circular in shape to link with aspects of the industry, such as cutting machines, pit wheels and lamps, partially enclosed by a commissioned art installation of Corten steel screens to reflect the confined spaces underground.

Planting will create different areas, with schemes developed for sensory, as well as visual impact.