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Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism visits Big Pit National Coal Museum

Big Pit National Coal Museum, located in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, continues to be a popular visitor destination, and on Monday 13 May, it was visited by the Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas. 

The Blaenavon Industrial landscape was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 in recognition of the exceptional testimony to the dynamic forces that drove the Industrial Revolution that is told through the areas heritage assets. 

Major sites such as Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit, together with the wider landscape with its relicts of mineral exploitation, manufacturing, transport and settlements together tell the story of the iron and coal industry that was pre-eminent in south Wales in the 19th century. 

Cllr Alan Jones, Executive Member for Business, Tourism, Leisure and Culture of Torfaen County Borough Council, said: “We would like to thank Welsh Government and the Deputy Minister for continuing to support us, and we hope he enjoyed his visit. 

“We are very fortunate that Lord Elis-Thomas is such a supporter of the Industrial Heritage of Wales and the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, and we appreciate all he does to convey the importance of our heritage. 

“Until you have an underground tour of Big Pit, with one of their expert guides, you can’t imagine what it would have been like working underground in the mines. 

“Underground tours are free to the public, and I encourage anyone who is thinking about visiting Blaenavon to add Big Pit on to their list of places to visit.” 

Following his visit, Lord Elis Thomas, said: “During Wales Tourism Week - which celebrated partnership working for the good of the tourism sector, I was pleased to see so many individuals and groups involved in this area and working together to map and promote industrial heritage attractions.  

“Industrial heritage is an important element of the story of Wales and it figures prominently in my Priorities Document for the Historic Environment of Wales. The work which I’ve seen today chimes with the idea of doing more to map and promote industrial heritage attractions.  

“The regeneration of Blaenavon as a consequence of its World Heritage Site status provides an example of what can be achieved.”

Posted on: Wednesday 5th June 2019