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Opening Date Announced...

The much anticipated opening date of the £9.5 million state-of-the-art new Visitor Centre, encompassing the Kent Mining Museum, has been confirmed for 30th March 2019. The date has been planned to coincide with the national celebrations for English Tourism Week.
 
To answer the inevitable ‘why has it taken so long?’ despite the best planning, the groundworks for the building presented significant challenges to the architects and site contractor. A combination of deep marshland overlain with colliery waste from the 1920s onwards led to difficult ground conditions. This has been further complicated by the way the conditions vary greatly along the 175m length.
 
To meet this engineering problem and ensure a stable building, extra time was taken to design and implement a complex piling system. A total of 233 piles are under the building ranging from a depth of 36 m to 62 m (equivalent to 14 double decker buses on top of each other). An extra £1m of costs have been required for these groundworks.