Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum is a community museum based in a disused ironstone mine on the Redcar and Cleveland Coast, run by a small group of highly committed staff and volunteers.
It was the brainchild of a local reporter, Tom Leonard. When reporting on the mine closures, Tom could see that the history of ironstone mining in the region was being lost and wanted to keep the memory of this once vital industry alive.
Tom considered the loss of social cohesion within the local community as being as important as the preservation of artefacts. So a core aim of the museum is to support the social and economic regeneration of the local area, primarily through tourism. The Tees Valley, and especially the Skinningrove and Loftus area, has not recovered from the closure of the last ironstone mine 50 years ago and is now one of the most deprived areas in the country, with youth unemployment at over 50%. The blast furnace in Redcar was recently closed adding to the problem.
The Foundation awarded the Museum a £40,000 grant to help set up and run a project aimed at getting young people into employment. The grant funds the project manager’s salary and training sessions for the young people.
The Museum provides tailored training programmes for young local people, giving them real work experience dealing with visitors, running the shop, delivering guided tours and carrying out maintenance. The Museum will also continue to assist the young people once they have started employment or moved into further education.
To find out more about Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum please click here.
You can find out more about Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum via their website.