Head of Masterplan Appointed
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Head of Masterplan Appointed

Head of Masterplan appointed at National Coal Mining Museum for England

An experienced Heritage Project Manager and Historian, Dr John Tanner, has been appointed to the brand-new role of Head of Masterplan and Capital Projects at National Coal Mining Museum for England.

The appointment comes at an exciting period of change for the Museum as they look towards opportunities to develop the site using innovative, sustainable, relevant, accessible and exciting ways to share the stories of coal mining and its legacy.

Dr John Tanner has a long track record of successfully delivering major projects and award-winning museum developments.

For Barnsley Museums, John led the creation of the Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre, shortlisted for the world’s biggest museum prize, Museum of the Year, in 2021.

John’s work on the ongoing development of the village of Elsecar has also been significant. Over the last ten years, this has involved a major increase in visitor numbers to over 600,000 people per year, award-winning projects, recognition of the village’s international significance, multi-million-pound investment and the creation of a new £25m masterplan to establish a 21st century heritage railway on Elsecar’s historic ironworks. He also led the restoration of the 1795 New Colliery at Elsecar Heritage Centre including its steam engine, the oldest in the world still in situ.

Other major museum projects across the North of England that Dr Tanner has contributed to include the Hull Maritime Museum, Craven Museum at Skipton, the transformation of Rochdale Town Hall and working in close partnership with National Coal Mining Museum, including on the establishment of the European Route of Industrial Heritage in Yorkshire

Coal mining heritage is a personal as well as professional passion for John, whose family worked underground for more than 140 years, up until the 1980s.

His own academic research and community activity have been closely linked to coal, driven by a recognition of how vital it is for communities across England to recognise and celebrate their coal mining heritage.

NCMME are delighted to appoint John with his passion for coal mining history and vast experience developing heritage and museum sites. His wealth of knowledge will be invaluable to the Museum as the masterplan gets underway.

Dr John Tanner has said on his appointment: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining National Coal Mining Museum. The Museum is loved by so many people, has immense potential for the future, and a vital and relevant history to share. It really is a very exciting time to join what is an amazing team.”