Haig Mining Museum - Was £1.6 Million of Heritage Lottery Money returned ?

Marianne Birkby made this Freedom of Information request to The National Lottery Heritage Fund

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund did not have the information requested.

Dear The National Lottery Heritage Fund,

In 2019 you put in a claim for repayment of £1.6 Million in respect of liquidation of the Haig Mining Museum.

Was the £1.6 Million returned ?

If not, what was the explanation ?

(the Museum, Buildings and Land were subsequently bought for just £1 by West Cumbria Mining in what looks like a closed agreement between WCM, the liquidators and Copeland Borough Council ).

Yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby

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Freedom Of Information,

Dear Marianne Birkby,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request on 20 February 2021, in which you requested to see information on Haig Colliery Mining Museum. Please find our responses below.

1. Was the £1.6 Million returned?

No.

2. If not, what was the explanation?

The National Lottery Heritage Fund did set out an interest, but the Joint Liquidators advised in their Joint Liquidators' Annual Progress Report to Creditors for the period to 14 February 2018 "We would confirm that is anticipated there will be insufficient funds realised after defraying the expenses of the liquidation to pay a dividend to unsecured creditors".

I hope you find this information useful but if you do have any other questions please do let me know.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to request an internal review of our decision please contact [email address]. If you were then not content with the outcome of the internal review you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office (https://ico.org.uk/).

Best wishes,

Georgia

FOI Team
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Website: heritagefund.org.uk

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Our main telephone number: 0207 591 6000

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Dear Georgia,

Thank you very much for your reply that the £ 1.6 M monies was not returned to the Heritage Lottery from liquidation of the Haig Museum.

I have a further couple of clarifying questions I hope you can help with :

Given that there was "insufficient funds realised after defraying the expenses of the liquidation to pay a dividend to unsecured creditors" was any explanation given to the Heritage Lottery Fund as to the reason why the Coal Authority used their pre-emption right to hand the Haig Mining Museum and land to West Cumbria Mining for £1 ? ( the liquidators expressed disappointment at the "low" amount released for creditors from sale of the Haig Museum but the 'sale' to West Cumbria Mining appears to be a closed agreement).

Under FOI and in the public interest I ask for sight of the Joint Liquidators' Annual Progress Report to Creditors for the period to 14 February 2018.

In effect the public have paid £1.6 M and more for historic coal mine buildings and land to be handed over for £1 to the developers of the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades . I am sure you would agree the public have a right to know how this situation was allowed to happen, in order to prevent local heritage being lost to extractive industrial development in future.

With many thanks

Best wishes,

Marianne Birkby

Freedom Of Information,

1 Attachment

Dear Marianne,

Thank you for your email and further request for information on Haig Colliery Mining Museum.

After a search of our records, we do not have information recorded on the agreement of West Cumbria Mining's acquisition of the site.

Please find attached a copy of the Joint Liquidators' Annual Progress Report to Creditors for the period to 14 February 2018 which is available on Companies House at: https://find-and-update.company-informat....

Kind regards,

Georgia

FOI Team
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Website: heritagefund.org.uk

Mezzanine Floor (North)
International House
St Katharine's Way
London E1W 1UN

Our main telephone number: 0207 591 6000

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
#NationalLotteryHeritageFund

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Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you very much for supplying the information you do have.

With kind regards

Marianne Birkby