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  1. ITV Report

Coniston's copper mines get £500,000 grant

Knipe wheel. Credit: Ruskin Museum.

The Lake District National Park Authority has been given almost half a million pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund to protect the remains of the former copper mines in Coniston.

The industry played a big part in why people came to live in the town, but for more than 50 years the mines have been falling into decay.

Now the aim is for archeologists to be able to find out more, and there will be trails for walkers to learn about its past.

The tower where a watermill once stood. Credit: ITV Border

At its peak in the 19th Century the mines employed 600 people, swelling Coniston's population to three times what it is today.

But in 1954 Coniston's copper boom ended. Now it will be conserved with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of almost £500,000.

It will be used to restore the buildings, create a trail for walkers to find out more and an exhibition at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston.

We're going to use the money to conserve buildings and structures across the site so people will be able to see those for at least another 50 - 100 years. We're also going to be providing interpretation.

We find a lot of people come up here, look at the site and see the structures and spoil heaps and don't really understand what they are and what they were used for, so the interpretation and trails that we're developing will hopefully help people to enjoy the site a lot more.

– Eleanor Kingston, Lake District National Park Authority Archaeologist