£14,429.62 FUNDED

King Edward Mine Museum Redevelopment

Cornwall Council (Tamsin Daniel)

To fit out a new café at the King Edward Mine in the Assay House bringing the redundant building back into use.

An invaluable insight into Cornish industrial heritage

The King Edward Mine in Troon, near Camborne, is the oldest complete mine remaining in Cornwall. Used for training mining engineers for over 100 years, the site was acquired by Cornwall Council in 2009 and a programme began to secure funding to restore and preserve this important World Heritage Site.

The site and museum offer an invaluable insight into the region’s industrial heritage and contain 16 Grade II listed buildings.

Encouraging a new demographic to the Heritage site
The derelict former Assay Office was restored, and LEADER funding has enabled a community café to open in this historic building, which has attracted new visitors to the area.

LEADER enabled Cornwall Council to create an attractive proposition for prospective franchisees. Following a shortlisting and interviewing phase, Kitchenside Bakery was chosen – a Cornish company using local products, and with a proven track-record of running successful community cafés in Looe and Mount Edgcumbe.

High-quality equipment was required to make the best use of a small space, and the funding enabled Kitchenside Bakery to be engaged early in the process, so they could be involved in selecting and planning the kitchen using their experience and knowledge.

To celebrate the Croust Hut Café opening at Easter, an egg-hunt event was promoted on social media and hundreds of people came to the site.

On Father’s Day, the café held a barbecue that was attended by over 100 people from the local community.

The café and its events have encouraged a completely new demographic to visit this heritage site, including young people and families; the mine currently attracts around 5,500 visitors per year, and the goal is to increase that to 10,000.

Linda, one of the six local staff, hadn’t worked for 15 years before gaining employment in the café. She lives in Camborne and has a great knowledge of the local community, which was valued more highly than any previous experience.

Linda said: “It has made a big difference to me as it has brought my self-esteem back and given me confidence. The atmosphere of the café is lovely, we serve good food and I love working with the other staff, we all get on well.”

The site is on the 7.5-mile Great Flat Lode trail, and the café has become a gateway for walking or cycling. The trail encompasses all the major mines of the Camborne/Redruth area, and is a circular route around the granite hill of Carn Brea.

The increase in visitors to the area has a positive impact on all local businesses and the income from the café will help to sustain the site for many years to come.

The Croust Hut Café is open year-round, seven days a week, from 10 am to 4 pm, and is also available for private hire.

Key documents