National Mining Museum Scotland Trust

National Mining Museum Scotland Trust

At a glance


  • Education
  • Museums / heritage

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Scotland


National Mining Museum Scotland Trust (NMMST) is constituted as a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland and is subject to the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 and of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. Its charitable purposes as set out in its Memorandum of Association are to establish and promote the museum and to preserve, conserve and maintain the buildings of historical or architectural importance comprised in the Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian, as part of the museum. The Trust recently updated its vision and mission as part of a new ten-year masterplan. They are set out below:


Making Scotland’s mining heritage relevant to everyone


Embracing the legacy of Scotland’s mining communities – solidarity, sustainability and innovation – to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

The National Mining Museum Scotland (NMMS) originally known as the Scottish Mining Museum, was first established in 1984 and is housed in the Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange. The site comprising the colliery on the west side of the A7 road along with the former colliery office on the east side of the A7, were initially leased to the museum and subsequently purchased in 1993.The neighbouring Central Workshops were purchased in 1996. Parts of the colliery itself were first opened to the public in 1999 following completion of major capital development. It is an attractive red brick complex occupying several acres of land alongside the Borders Railway, which re-opened in 2015.

The colliery is a ‘Grade A Listed’ heritage site, with unique features such as the Winding Engine, the Washery and the Undercroft, which together give an insight into how the colliery worked when it was in operation in the past. The museum is a five star visitor attraction (Visit Scotland), and is a fully Accredited Professional Museum. The museum holds collections recognised by Museums Galleries Scotland as being of national significance with most held in a separate collections trust but managed by the museum. It plays a major role in Industrial Museums Scotland (IMS) and is part of a network of over four hundred independent Scottish museums.


The museum was set up to safeguard and care for Scotland’s mining heritage for the benefit of current and future generations and to make mining heritage relevant to everyone. Our core activities are numerous and include collections management, visitor engagement, events, education, community support, sector support, functions and café & retail. We let out some unused parts of the museum estate, thereby providing further support to local businesses and the economy.

The museum’s Collections Trust holds most of the collections. The collections are managed by the curatorial team and are fundamental to the purpose of the museum. We hold collections of national significance (classed as Recognised Collections) and they are an outstanding resource for the appreciation, study and understanding of coal mining and its importance to the life and culture of Scotland. The collections record the social life of mining communities, the economic impact of the industry, and the contribution of miners and their communities to the political development and cultural life of Scotland. They provide an account of Scottish coal mining that extends to more than 100,000 items, including mining tools, heavy machinery, pictures, trophies, banners, costumes, geology samples, domestic items, archives, a library, photographs, maps and plans gathered from across all the Scottish coal fields. We also have objects relating to the development of renewable energy, giving detail on aspects of the story of energy. The Grade A-Listed Lady Victoria Colliery is not an item in the collections as such, but is the largest item cared for by the museum.

The curatorial team are involved with acquisitions of objects from across Scotland, documentation and care of collections, and interpretation & display of objects. The museum also has a unique Research Library that is accessible to the public and frequently used by academics and for family history enquiries.

The education programme has grown from strength to strength over the past five years and we promote formal and informal learning by developing initiatives that support the curriculum and hard to reach groups. We achieve this through effective partnerships with local schools and community groups and frequently host community consultation events to establish their priorities and needs.

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