Just over a year ago, The Man Engine, a giant mechanical miner, the height of two and a half double decker buses, steamed from the Tamar to the very tip of Cornwall to celebrate the Tinth (tenth) anniversary of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

This week (Monday 4th September) the Man Engine’s creator Will Coleman and a team from Golden Tree Productions were surprised with an unexpected visit from comedian David Baddiel. He travelled to King Edward Mine, Camborne, Cornwall with the news that the 11.2m high tin miner has been voted the UK’s Best Arts Project in The National Lottery Awards, the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded projects. This was a record breaking year for The National Lottery Awards, with over 1,300 applicants, making the Man Engine’s win even more significant.

After presenting the Man Engine team with their award, comedian, novelist and broadcaster Baddiel said: “The Man Engine is extraordinary. As well as being a mechanical wonder which people have flocked to see, he has become a symbol of Cornwall’s pride and heritage. They fully deserve this award - National Lottery players should be very proud to have helped fund The Man Engine.”

Julian German, Chairman of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Partnership, which commissioned the Man Engine said: “This is obviously wonderful news for everyone in Cornwall and west Devon, and beyond. The World Heritage Site Partnership, backed by Cornwall Council, were seeking a vision, an ambition and a tenacity that would come together in a fitting tribute to our ancestors’ efforts, ingenuity and entrepreneurialism. We certainly found this in the Man Engine. Alongside his team, led by Will Coleman, the Man Engine undoubtedly captured the world’s imagination, bringing the towns and villages along the route to the attention of a national audience, driving a new excitement and understanding of the importance of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site. Today’s announcement of this UK award will yet again honour the stories, the dedication and the ingenuity of our ancestors and I extended our thanks and congratulations to the Golden Tree team.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We are absolutely delighted that The Man Engine has been named best Arts project in the National Lottery Awards and are proud to have supported the project through our grants for the arts programme. Not only a colossal feat of artistic engineering and a celebration of Cornish culture, The Man Engine played an extraordinary role in bringing together almost one hundred and fifty thousand people to engage in a shared, spectacular cultural experience. We look forward to seeing where the Man Engine goes next.”

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “The Man Engine is a hugely imaginative project which brings together heritage and arts in one fabulous mechanised tin miner. I can’t think of a better way to share Cornwall’s mining stories which run the gamut from the tragic to the triumphant, and all made possible thanks to National Lottery players.”

Will Coleman said: “Last year, we collectively pulled off something truly spectacular, working together with people all over Cornwall and West Devon to make the Man Engine tour the length of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site a reality. This year, we’ve done it again thanks to almost 8,000 people voting for the Man Engine to become the country’s favourite Arts project in the National Lottery Awards. What a phenomenal response. I simply want to thank everyone who commissioned us, supported us, sponsored us, volunteered for us, sang for us, helped us along the way, or simply came to see us and took part. The personal and family stories of triumph and tragedy have been deeply moving.”

Will Coleman continued: “I am delighted to confirm that this win is a significant boost to our plans for the Man Engine to awaken again. 2018 will see him touring across Cornwall and Devon and heading to Wales and England on his travels. For now, I cannot say any more, but thank you again to everyone that voted, and watch this space for news very soon!”

#DavidBaddiel #ManEngine #NationalLottery #BestArtsProject #Cornwall #CornishMiningHeritage

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