24 March, 2016
Andrew Little and Kerry Pearson of Rowlands Restructuring and Insolvency, joint liquidators of Haig Pit Mining Museum, are pleased to confirm that an agreement has been reached to provide a short term solution to securing the former Haig Colliery site.
The short term agreement will see West Cumbria Mining, who have been working locally since 2014 to develop their Cumbrian Metallurgical Coal Project, lease the recently constructed visitor centre building at the Haig Colliery site for an initial period of up to two years. WCM will use the Visitors Centre as its offices and base in West Cumbria, and has agreed to pay commercial rent to the liquidators, with the first year rent paid in advance to allow for critical insurances to be put in place to safeguard the overall site, buildings and collection.
Andrew Little and Kerry Pearson were appointed as liquidators for Haig Colliery Mining Museum on 15 February 2016, following on from the financial difficulties that the museum had encountered at the end of 2015 and the decision reached by the Trustees of Haig Museum that there were no other alternative options at that time. This agreement will provide Rowlands with the time required to seek to identify a financially acceptable, long-term solution for the museum site, buildings and mining collection.
Andrew Little, Partner at Rowlands, commented, “Despite the strong desire from many interested parties, charities and other contributors to the museum over the past few years, it soon became clear that there was no realistic prospect of being able to find a solution in the required timeframe that would safeguard the long-term prospects of the site and allow the museum to continue to operate.” He also added, “Although a number of parties expressed an interest West Cumbria Mining were the only party who offered financial commitment to support the site and afford Rowlands the time needed to engage with the various stakeholders to secure a long term solution for the site and collection.”
Mark Kirkbride, Chief Executive Officer of West Cumbria Mining, commented, “We are fully committed to working with the local community and stakeholders, so utilising some of the facilities at the Haig site, whilst providing financial support and the time needed to secure the long term future, seemed to be a sensible and pragmatic short term solution when there was a real danger of the site and collection being left unsecured and at significant risk.”
WCM will use the former visitors centre building as their local office, with up to 12 company employees being based there. The museum will not be open to the public at this time, until a longer term solution has been identified.
For further information, interviews or imagery, please contact
Helen Davies, West Cumbria Mining Ltd, 01444 410534
Andrew Little, Rowlands Accountants Ltd, 01642 790790 or 0191 4112468