Stakeholder News – June 2015
Welcome to the second in what we intend will be an approximately annual newsletter, updating you on developments at National Mining Museum Scotland. As you know, 2014-2015 has been an exceptionally exciting and turbulent time for Scotland in general; it has been no less so here at the Lady Vic, and we have been more than usually appreciative of the support we receive from stakeholders across the country. It is good to know how many people value the work of the Museum.
Familiarly, the Trust has needed to devote a great deal of energy to securing funds to keep the Museum’s offering diverse, fresh and vibrant, at a time when economic conditions remain tough and the public finances tight. At the same time, remain ambitious to develop the Museum in new directions and we are proud to end the financial year with positive news on both these fronts.
Here are some highlights from the past year, and some exciting plans for the months ahead.
- The Museum’s popularity continues to soar. Visitor numbers were up an astonishing 15% year-on-year to March 2015 and visitor income up by 25%.
- We celebrated the Museum’s 30th birthday with a lively programme of events, culminating in an official visit in January by HRH The Princess Royal.
- The Scottish Government has increased its grant support for the Museum and this rolling programme of core support has now been supplemented by a significant commitment of funding from Midlothian Council. The Trust hopes other authorities in former coalfield areas will lend their support to a unique national centre for Scotland’s mining heritage.
- The Borders Railway opens in September and the Museum expects to make further big gains in visitor numbers thanks to the location of the new Newtongrange station on land adjacent to our site and the extensive housing developments planning along the route of the railway. We are working closely with Midlothian Council on joint plans to maximise the benefit to the Museum of this exciting development.
- The trust expects shortly to appoint a new Director to replace Rowan Brown, who has moved on after five years of energetic achievement at NMMS. We look forward to working with her successor to refresh the museum’s strategic plan, which is due for renewal in 2015.
- One of our longest-cherished projects, refurbishment of the colliery’s spectacular Boiler House, has moved closer to fruition, after we won funding for a feasibility study on how best to take the project forward.
The above is just a brief account of a typically busy year, and the Trust looks forward to welcoming you to Newtongrange to learn more about what we are doing here. Our plans for the period ahead are ambitious and imaginative and the continued commitment of our stakeholders will be critical in making them happen.