Preserving Mining Heritage in Cornwall

Preserving Mining Heritage in Cornwall

Derelict mining buildings in Camborne are being transformed into high quality workshops and office space, to support the growing creative sector in Cornwall. Ward Williams Associates have been involved in this exciting project since design concept, with the final stages due for completion next year.

King Edward Mine is at the eastern part of the South Condurrow Mine, which was abandoned in 1890. Since then, it provided a home to Camborne School of Mines as a fully operational training mine, which produced tin to cover its teaching costs. In 2009, the mine was bought by Cornwall Council, who leased the buildings to a local charity. Since then it has been persevered as an educational resource and museum.

The entire complex is recognised as a World Heritage Site and includes sixteen buildings Grade II and Grade II* Listed.

The Count House and Carpenters Shop Complex on the site are being sympathetically refurbished to high sustainable standards, with BREEAM ‘very good’ set to be achieved. The development, will use distinctive building techniques and materials to safeguard these buildings and create enhanced work spaces for new businesses.

The funding for this project has come from a variety of routes including support from the ERDF, Cornwall Council, and the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme. Ward Williams Associates were fundamental to the project achieving optimum value and assistance in the production of the funding application.

Three of new units are already occupied by new tenants, with the remaining workspaces being made available for occupation from the 1st September. It is intended that the rest of the units will be let by those working in the knowledge economy and creative industries sector, which are the fastest growing sectors in the Cornish economy.

Phase two of the project will conserve the museum buildings as well as providing exhibition space and a new café, to enhance the visitor experience.

Phil Crossley, Associate Partner and Project Lead said: “The King Edward Mine project has involved several years of planning to conserve the heritage of the site whilst creating new opportunities for businesses with purpose built, high quality facilities”.

Ward Williams Associates were also involved in the recent large scale regeneration of the derelict mining site at Robinson’s Shaft in Pool, Redruth, into a free cultural playground, including visitor centre, community facilities, workspace accommodation, gallery and residential units.

Camborne and Redruth are seen as the historical capital of Cornish mining, however, they are also some of the most deprived areas in the county. In recent years, steps have been taken to grow the local economy and reduce deprivation, by building new affordable housing, enhancing retail opportunities, improved transport infrastructure and regenerating under-utilised sites.

“We are extremely proud to have worked on both the Heartlands and King Edward Mine projects which are significantly regenerating the local area. These schemes will continue to preserve our mining heritage as well as providing new jobs and business opportunities, increasing tourism and ultimately contributing to an improved quality of life for those living in Camborne and Redruth”.