BENARTY'S French connection is setting out to raise £10,000 to promote mining heritage in the area and link the four villages with a mining community in France.

Cycling fanatic, Magali Christie, is to undertake a sponsored cycle to Oignies in France which is geared to raise £10,000 for the Save the Cage project.

Magali recently moved from Ballingry to the islands off the west coast but the mark living in Benarty made on her has ensured that she wants to undertake this latest sponsored cycle to promote mining heritage.

She said: "The purpose of this cycle is to raise money for Benarty Heritage and the Save the Cage project and to create a link between Benarty and Oignies, two proud mining communities.

"I believe it is so important to educate younger generations on the mining past and the Save the Cage project, if successful, will help promote how important mining was to Benarty and be the start of a heritage centre at Lochore Meadows Country Park."

Added Magali, 41: "Why Benarty? I moved to Scotland from France eight years ago, and lived in Benarty for six years.

"From all countries and places I lived, Benarty surprised me with it's natural and forward way to help others. Despite unemployment a lot of people volunteer to help to raise money, to organise events, gala days, children activities.

"You have Benarty Fundraisers, Benarty Events Group, The Community Shop etc and all are active through volunteers taking time to make Benarty as it is, a friendly creative and inspiring community."

She stressed how money raised will be spent. First the funds will help to save the three artefacts currently sitting in a yard in Leven.

These are an AB coal cutter; a mine car, that was used to transport materials underground; and the Frances Colliery cage which took miners up and down the pit shaft.

This will give new opportunities within the area in terms of culture, tourism and employment. Why not a mining museum, she enthused

A mining museum will not only open new doors but will give back to Benarty it's past back home.

Added Magali, who raised a lot of money with a sponsored cycle from Ballingry to John O' Groats last year: "A nation’s culture resides in the heart and the soul of its people. So please donate to help us with this new adventure!"