Neath Port Talbot councilors decided to retain control of the Sefna Coad Coal Mine Museum for the next few years in an attempt to make it a popular attraction.

Opened in 1978, the landmark is known for its rich local history and is located on the site of a former coal mine that previously held the record for the deepest anthracite coal mine in the world.

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It now includes the rest of the mine’s buildings, including the two iconic mainframes and the boiler room, which has the largest collection of steam boilers in the UK.

However, after several tumultuous years in which it had been closed since the start of the pandemic, the local authority brought in museum and culture expert Chris Delaney to consider options for its future, one of which was to return the lease to the Welsh government and another to develop. it for non-hereditary purposes.

The Cabinet Members for Education, Skills and Welfare finally decided to support Mr. Delaney, that it was for the council to retain control of the museum and make it a visitor attraction and ‘gateway’ to the area.

Cllr Sian Harris, who represents Crynant, Onllwyn and the Seven Sisters, said she is very passionate about the site and wants to keep it open so that future generations in Neath Port Talbot can learn about its past.

She said: “This museum means a lot to the people of this region and the potential we have here to make it a heritage site is huge.

“It’s a fantastic part of mining history and the meaning it has for people here in Crainant is very important as there are many people in the area who worked there or have family members who worked in the coal mine.

“In the coming years it has the potential to become much more than a Minas Gerais museum and I am sure it will be sought after by locals and visitors from all over the country, if not the world.

“It would be great for the local school children in Neath Port Talbot to be able to go back to school and learn about their history and the history of coal mining in South Wales, which I think is really important.”

Board chairman Steve Hunt added: “There is a wealth of artifacts here that tell the story of coal and the communities in this area and should be proudly displayed. I look forward to seeing how the museum develops over the years.” You can read more about our Neath Port Talbot stories here or sign up for our newsletter here.

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