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County’s archive and records centre reaches milestone

The Herefordshire Archive & Records Centre (HARC) has reached an exciting milestone in recent weeks with the completion of the roof and the removal of the scaffolding from around the building. In keeping with tradition we intend to mark this point in the project with a ‘topping out’ ceremony at the HARC Building, Fir Tree Lane (on the Enterprise Zone) next Wednesday 9 April at 2pm.

The construction of the building commenced in September 2013 and is on track for completion in September 2014. The ‘topping out’ ceremony has long traditions within the construction industry and marks the last stages of the build and includes the placing of an evergreen tree upon the structure to symbolize growth and bring luck.

The new building will have better access for visitors and be more energy efficient, with running costs significantly less because of the leading edge Passivhaus design.

Currently the majority of the county’s archive records are stored at a building in Hereford that does not meet the environmental and access standards required by The National Archives for accreditation and is in need of extensive and costly repair.

Herefordshire Council has been working with consultants EC Harris, contractors Kier Construction and architects Architype to design a new facility which will comply with Government regulations for storing archival records.

The new centre will offer a range of social and community outreach programmes, a dedicated educational room and improved facilities and access for the public.

It will also bring the archive, the county’s archaeology unit, the historic environment record, and the biological records centre together in one building, allowing people access to all these records in one place.

The £8.1m facility is being funded from the council’s capital programme and is allocated for accommodation and forms part of the council’s commitment to reducing the number and running costs of council buildings.

More information on the project can be found on the council’s website www.herefordshire.gov.uk/HARC