Year | 2014
Location | Hemingfield, South Yorkshire
Client | Friends of Hemingfield Colliery

The Live Project focused on developing a future strategy for Hemingfield Colliery, located in the village of Hemingfield near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. There is a strong industrial heritage in the locality, with the villages built around the mines. Hemingfield Colliery has been disused since the 1990’s, falling into a prolonged state of disrepair until its privatisation in July 2014. From the outset, we questioned how this former industrial site could be restored and regenerated into a valuable community asset.

With our client we developed a brief to look at strategic ways to help them secure the colliery’s future. As part of this brief we took an attitude that local community engagement would be used to inform out work throughout the project. This was achieved through a series of participation events, culminating in a main community engagement event held at the Elsecar Heritage Centre.  Further to this, we volunteered onsite with a clearance days at the colliery which enabled us to engage with other interested parties and help publicise our project.

The outcomes of the project were a series of documents, models and a video designed to assist the clients in taking this project further. These outcomes were generated after discussions between the group and clients and were identified as imperative in realising their future goals. They include:

– A strategy documenting our research, participation and proposals for the site.

– Architectural models representing the direct site and surrounding context.

– A Funding document explaining possible future financial options available.

– An Awareness document to give the Colliery a greater public exposure.

– A video that demonstrates the value the Colliery has within the local community.

– A blog which informs and updates everyone about ongoing events at the Colliery.

Whilst all of these outcomes look toward the future, as a team we also felt it was important to begin a legacy for the project. We temporarily illuminated the old mining head frame for Halloween, something which the clients can reenact each year and provided a map highlighting the colliery to anyone taking the Trans Pennine trail adjacent to the site.