Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenavon: From a working past, to a sustainable future
Darroch, Jonathan Walker
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this investigation was 'to document and analyse the future direction of the management and marketing of Big Pit: National Coal Museum' which is outlined in the Introduction with the objectives set to achieve this. The reasons for conducting this investigation at this time were also explained in this chapter, with possible benefits to Big Pit and the researcher explained. Background information about Big Pit as a mine and heritage attraction, and also Blaenavon World Heritage Site, was briefly outlined. The following chapter is a Literature Review of relevant books, journals, websites and reports connected to Big Pit, Blaenavon, mining museums and heritage. This highlighted the economic and social benefits a heritage attraction can have on the communities surrounding them, as well as the importance of involving local people in representation of their heritage. A gap was identified in research into mining museums and their relationship with local communities that this investigation went some way to bridge. This review allowed the formulation of questions for research. The research methods were outlined in the Methodology chapter, explaining the reasons for using qualitative semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders connected to Big Pit, and how they were conducted. The advantages and disadvantages of different research processes were discussed before the chosen methods were outlined. The need for ethical consideration and the procedures to meet ethical approval were detailed and how the researcher ensured reliable and valid results was explained. The results of the interviews are documented and discussed in relation to the literature reviewed in the Results and Discussion chapter. Interviewees' responses were compared and the researcher highlighted areas of consensus and disagreement. This section highlighted the positive views of Big Pit as an attraction and the less positive opinions about its relationship with the local community. It also showed that Big Pit contributes directly financially to Blaenavon and also employs many local people. The lack of selling Blaenavon to visitors at Big Pit was expressed in each interview. The main findings of this investigation outlined in the Conclusions and Recommendations chapter are that Big Pit is successful in terms of visitor numbers, authenticity and economic contributions, but lacked inclusion of the local community in decision making and local knowledge of Big Pit's contribution to Blaenavon. The researcher therefore recommended management at Big Pit include local people during the decision making process and use local marketing to increase awareness of the contributions it makes. There were also limitations of the research process and possible future research discussed in this chapter.
BA (Hons) International Tourism Management
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