The Herefordshire Archive & Records Centre (HARC) has reached an exciting milestone with the completion of the construction phase. Councillor Harry Bramer cabinet member contracts and assets visited the new facility to formally accept the keys from the contractor, Kier Construction on Monday 5 January 2015.
The construction of the building commenced in September 2013 and is now complete just over a year later within budget.
Herefordshire Council has worked with consultants EC Harris, contractors Kier Construction and architects Architype to design the new facility which complies with Government regulations for storing archival records. The building is the first of its type in the UK.
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.
Councillor Harry Bramer cabinet member contracts and assets said, “I am really impressed that such a complex, purpose built facility has been completed in just over a year.
The project is a huge success and celebrates the efforts of all involved from the design stage through to construction. Herefordshire now has the most up-to-date records centre in the UK which also boasts a reduction in heating and lighting costs of around £100k per annum in comparison to its Harold Street predecessor.”
Currently the majority of the county’s archive records are stored at a building in Hereford that doesn’t meet the environmental and access standards required by The National Archives. The current facility doesn’t meet the standard 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.
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 which 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