Council decides to pay up
THE National Coal Mining Museum has been given about £350,000 in compensation following design errors.
The Examiner understands that Wakefield Council was forced to pay the tourist attraction the out- of-court sum for serious errors made by its building services department.
The department had conducted a survey before a major new development at the museum, which is beyond Grange Moor roundabout, towards Wakefield.
If the council had taken the issue to court it is believed it could have cost up to £2m.
A dispute over the survey has been dragging on for about a year.
Members of the council's Cabinet have been holding secret meetings and have refused to comment.
The problem is believed to have arisen in a survey carried out before the redevelopment of the former Hope Pit.
Work was to start on Hope Pit and the surrounding area last June, after the museum received grants worth £4.4m, plus raising £2m itself to conserve and open up Caphouse Colliery, which is the museum's main site.
Both Hope Pit and Caphouse contain unique buildings which date back to the early 19th century.
A restored pit train connects the two collieries, taking visitors between sites.
The new project conserves the historic buildings at Hope Pit and gives visitors an insight into their previous uses.
It also aims to turn the former colliery into a centre for school science projects on the coal mining industry.
The new centre will also boast a section where visitors can learn about the pit's £2m water monitoring and environmentally friendly treatment scheme.
Earlier this month the Press and public were excluded when the case was considered by Wakefield Council's Cabinet.
Both the council and officials at the museum refused to comment.