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Six months after its official relaunch, Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales is celebrating its best summer ever, with over 50,000 visitors at the site during the summer months - a 38% increase on the same period last year.

Big Pit's success helped to boost the visitor figures for the National Museums & Galleries of Wales to over half a million over a three month period, with NMGW as a whole enjoying its most successful summer since 2001, when the Welsh Assembly Government's free entry policy was introduced.

Building on this success, Big Pit plays an integral role in the Institute of Welsh Affairs' Welsh World Heritage Experience event, held in Blaenafon on 25 September, with speakers such as historian John Davies, and NMGW deputy director general, Eurwyn William, outlining the importance of Blaenafon and Big Pit itself on the world heritage map. The day, presented in partnership with Torfaen County Borough Council and Academi, is designed to showcase the new visitor facilities in and around Blaenafon and provide some insight into the effects of designating this historic landscape as a World Heritage Site.

Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales was officially relaunched in April 2004, following a £7.2million redevelopment, which included a £5.3million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with additional aid coming from the Welsh Assembly Government, Wales Tourist Board and a number of private trusts and funds.

The redevelopment forms an integral part of NMGW's industrial strategy, which embraces three existing site-specific museums - Big Pit itself, the National Woollen Museum, the Welsh Slate Museum at Llanberis - as well as the development of the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales is open 9.30 am-5pm seven days a week from mid February until the end of November. Underground tours run frequently between 10am-3.30pm. Entry to the museum is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.