Pleasley Pit set to build new visitor centre and cafe

A new visitors centre and cafe is set to be built at Pleasley Pit in hopes to bring in more visitors.

The pit has secured £164,160, from the Royal Development Programme for England, to build the visitors centre and expand the current cafe on site.

Former miner, David Cowpe, from Huthwaite, dressed up for his visit to the Pleasley Pit open day.

Former miner, David Cowpe, from Huthwaite, dressed up for his visit to the Pleasley Pit open day.

The new development will also provide space for heritage displays, events and activities.

The pit is operated by The Land Trust, Friends of Pleasley Pit and Pleasley Pit Nature Study Group.

Charles Langtree, Land Trust Estates manager, said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding for Pleasley Pit which will allow us and the team of passionate volunteers to build on everything that has been achieved over the last two decades.

"Whether it be restoring the engines, giving educational talks about the history of the building, or running a very successful cafe, I never fail to be amazed by the hard work, dedication and commitment of the volunteers.

Pleasley Pit.

Pleasley Pit.

"Once completed the new facilities will enable us to build on this success, bring more visitors to the space and enhance the experience people have when they visit."

Pleasley Pit was the oldest and deepest pit in the East Midlands coalfield.

The first shafts were sunk in the 1070's and were operational for over a century, with the site ceasing production in 1983.

In 1995 Friends of Pleasley Pit was formed and restoration of the site began.

The site was awarded a prestigious Heritage Angel award in 2011 in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the preservation of our industrial heritage.

Neville Buckle, secretary of the Pleasley Pit Trust said: "It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved with Pleasley over the 23 years.

"The funding will enable us to welcome more schools and enhance a unique experience for groups and visitors."

Work on the new centre and cafe will begin this summer and the project is set to be completed in 2020.

The existing cafe and engine house will remain open during construction, but, the trust has warned that there may be period where they are shut.