Protecting Herefordshire’s archive records and ensuring they can stay in the county will now be assured after planning permission was granted this week to build a cost efficient and purpose built records facility near Rotherwas in Hereford.
Currently the majority of the county’s archive records are stored at a building in Hereford that does not meet the standards required by The National Archives for accreditation and is in need of extensive and costly repair.
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.
In addition, the new facility will also bring the archive, the county’s archaeology unit, the sites and monuments record, and the biological records centre together in one building, allowing people access to all these records in one place.
The new building will have better access for visitors and be more energy efficient, with running costs significantly less because of the leading edge “passive house” design.
The £8m facility is being funded from the council’s capital programme allocated for accommodation. This capital funding cannot be used for day to day services and forms part of the overall approach to reducing the number and running costs of council buildings.
Councillor Roger Phillips, cabinet member for culture said: “This centre will ensure we comply with national standards and are able to keep the county’s archive records in the county.
“Our current location is not fit for purpose and this could mean our records would have to be stored outside the county if a new facility is not provided.
“The new facility will mean people will have much better access to the archived records and have a place to research and learn about our county’s history for years to come.
Details of the plans are available on the planning section of council’s website. www.herefordshire.gov.uk
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