£1 million heritage project
A massive £1 million pound project to refurbish and
re-launch Cornwall's Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum as the
China Clay Country Park is nearing completion. Work at the
26 acre site just outside St Austell, which includes a brand
new state of the art visitor centre complete with interactive
displays and children's outdoor challenge course is nearing
Home of the UK's only china clay museum, it is hoped that
the refurbished and re-named China Clay Country Park, which
has undergone a major image overhaul, will pull in thousands
of visitors interested in learning more about Cornwall's long
association with 'white gold'.
According to China Clay Country Park Chief Executive David
Owens, everyone at the centre is now looking forward to the
work being completed and the doors being fully opened. "We
are absolutely delighted that, in the 300th anniversary of
the birth of William Cookworthy who pioneered the china clay
industry, we are embarking on a new era. Work is right on
schedule and we are now looking forward to offering a superb
day out for all the family at what will be an outstanding
venue," he said. "Our aim has been to make it an
even more interesting, exciting and enjoyable experience and
we are sure people will agree we have more than achieved that."
The attraction has been given a new name 'China Clay Country
Park' to go with its new face and enhanced visitor attractions,
which include a new cafe which will use locally sourced ingredients
and a shop selling a range of goods including ceramics from
around the world. It has also undergone an image overhaul,
had new marketing materials produced and has launched a new
Interactive displays in the new visitor centre will tell
the story of Cornwall's china clay industry and show how men,
women and children worked for twelve hours a day for the equivalent
of 50p. A new gallery has also been created tracing how clay
was discovered in Cornwall in 1746 by William Cookworthy and
the industry's impact on what is now known as China Clay Country.
During the year there will be additional exhibitions by local
artists, potters and photographers.
The project has had investment of £769,500 from the
Heritage Lottery Fund, £299,871 from Cornwall's Objective
One European Regional Development Fund, and grants from the
trustees of Wheal Martyn, Restormel Borough Council and Cornwall
Mr Owens added: "Our intention is to create a museum
for the local community to be proud of and one that fully
celebrates our unique industrial and cultural heritage, but
which also provides a day out for both local people and tourists.
We want visitors, young and old, to go away feeling they have
enjoyed an experience that has been both stimulating and enlightening."
The new visitor Centre is due to open in early June.
For further information contact the China Clay Country Park
on 01726 850362; or Graham Buckley of Mercury Public Relations
on 01872 561120.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles
of Scilly has invested in the China Clay Country Park through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The China Clay Country Park is located two miles north of
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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