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High Peak Geotechnical undertakes coastal cave restoration

margate caves 1

High Peak Geotechnical has nearly completed the restoration of a chalk mine in Margate, Kent.

Originally dug as a chalk mine in the 18th century, Margate Caves had welcomed visitors since 1863 but were closed in 2004.

High Peak has been restoring the caves to reopen the tourist attraction, which when completed will need to meet the requirements of the mines’ inspectorate.

Working with mining engineering firm Graham Daws Associates, the mine will be restored and open to the public again this summer.

The project so far has seen High Peak scaling loose rock from roof and walls of the caves, rock bolting and meshing potentially unstable features within the caves, applying spray concrete to unstable fissures crossing the roof of the caves, and hand-digging a tunnel to provide secondary access passage and stairway to the surface together with upgrading of handrails and steps.

The firm also developed the feasibility study for the project.

Some of the works were undertaken using rope access and High Peak will complete their part of the project by mid-April.

Since 2011, campaigners for the Margate Caves have received funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and local fundraising and Crowdfunder campaign.

When completed the tourist attraction will have a visitor centre with a shop and café, as well as community rooms and classrooms.

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