Former Wakefield MP David Hinchliffe has been appointed as chairman of the National Coal Mining Museum for England.
Mr Hinchliffe, who represented Wakefield in the House of Commons from 1987 to 2005, has taken over as head of the museum’s board of trustees.
He took over the role from Baroness Morris of Yardley, who retired along with several other board members.
Mr Hinchliffe said: “As a direct descendent of several generations of colliers I feel very honoured to have been appointed as chairman of this outstanding museum. I have had a close association with the museum since it began and am very proud of the way it preserves and protects our coal mining heritage.
“Taking on the role will no doubt be enormously challenging but it will be exciting too. The major issue we face is that central government funding has been significantly reduced. We need to run the museum on a reduced budget without losing its history and the heritage of mining.”
Mr Hinchliffe – a former shadow minister and select committee chairman – previously served on the board when he was an MP and has had close links with the museum since it opened.
He is already involved on the governing bodies of a number of local organisations. He has a strong interest in local history and gained a master’s degree in regional and local history in 2010.
He said: “We have already had our first board meeting and I am looking forward to working with the new board.”
Other new appointments to the management committee include the Rt Hon Baroness Taylor of Bolton, who was Dewsbury’s MP from 1987 until 2005.