Part of Kentish History

The Betteshanger Colliery

The first coal was mined in Kent in 1896, at Shakespeare Colliery, following its chance discovery in 1890. There being no mining skills in Kent, miners and their families relocated from many traditional mining areas and formed close communities where they settled. Over the years, four collieries opened in East Kent at Tilmanstone, Chislet, Snowdown and Betteshanger. Coal in Kent was very deep, and the seams thin and undulating. Being difficult and dangerous to extract, it was the most expensive coal in the UK.

In the early 1980s the National Coal Board (NCB) was resolved to close all mines deemed uneconomic. In 1987 the NCB was reorganised as British Coal and, in the same year, two of the surviving Kent coalfields were closed, leaving only Betteshanger. This – the last Kent colliery – closed in 1989.

A New Beginning

The Betteshanger Sustainable Park

The Betteshanger Sustainable Park

‘Shaping the future and preserving our heritage, Betteshanger Sustainable Parks is a vibrant work and leisure destination. Showcasing the best of sustainability through all aspects of technology,  business, learning, health and community.’

Betteshanger Sustainable Parks is an economic  and social regeneration project of national significance and will be a major commercial, education and visitor destination. The £40m scheme will see the 300 acre Betteshanger Colliery site transformed into Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, supporting the regeneration of East Kent, preserving its history and heritage, delivering jobs and providing educational opportunity.

Betteshanger Sustainable Parks comprises:

The new £7.5m Betteshanger Country Park Visitor Centre, opening Summer 2016, including the Kent Mining Museum, the Green Energy Centre, catering, conferencing, retail and cycling facilities.  Built to the very highest standards of sustainability, the building will encompass all of its own energy creation through low and zero carbon energy production.  The Country Park is a 200 acre site with leisure parks, road and mountain biking and a future diverse programme of events and activities.

The Betteshanger Enterprise Park, incorporates the business park development focussed on green technologies, food technologies and agri-tech, and working in partnership with the neighbouring Discovery Park.  The commercial development will be supported by a programme of training and development and formal educational offer delivered through Hadlow College.

“We believe that Betteshanger has the potential to create shift change commercially and economically in East Kent, the County and the wider region”

Charlie Elphicke MP

Click here to visit Betteshanger Parks’ website

Click here to watch Betteshanger May 2015

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