The Colliery at Snowdown

Former east Kent colliery poised to become innovation centre

The Snowdown Colliery on the east Kent coal seam between Canterbury and Dover could see new life breathed into it as a business and innovation centre.

Closed as a working coal mine 1987, the 100-acre site has fallen into disrepair.

But plans are a afoot to create a centre for start-up businesses, artisan producers and research and development firms which will also include a rural visitor attraction.

Driving the project is businessman and entrepreneur Patrick Murfet who is director of Bee Equipment, a Bridge-based firm which makes and supplies beekeeping equipment.

He said: “We are really excited about the opportunities for job creation and recreation that the unique development the former Snowdown Colliery site offers.

“We have been working with the Coal Authority, the Plumptre Trust and Dover Council on these exciting plans at the old Snowdown Colliery site for three years, and as everything starts to come to fruition we couldn’t be happier.

“We aim to contain the redevelopment of the site to about 30% of the total acreage, retaining and working with the site’s original landscape where possible.

“After all this time, we are looking forward to the start of a new and positive chapter for the Snowdown Colliery site.”

Dover Council leader Cllr Keith Morris added: “This is a visionary project to bring the former Snowdown Colliery site back into economic and recreational use, playing its part in the exciting regeneration and investment programme driving new jobs and opportunities in the Dover district.

“Snowdown together with Discovery Park and the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks form a world-class cluster of environmental and life-science businesses.

“At the same time, Snowdown will be open to the public, providing an excellent outdoor facility for local people and visitors alike to enjoy.”

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