Spring is (finally) in the air and for Suffolk Record Office, this is a time to celebrate – last month, we received the wonderful news that our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a further £10.3m for ‘The Hold: A Suffolk Archives Service for the 21st Century’ was successful!
As explained in previous issues, the project will transform people’s access to their archives countywide and beyond, as well as creating a flagship heritage centre for Suffolk - securing an exciting and people-focused future for the service.
It’s a lot more than just a building project; The Hold is about engaging people right across the county and beyond with Suffolk’s archives and heritage. Vital to the project is an exciting programme of events, activities and learning opportunities, which will be delivered in communities – this will enable more people than ever before to explore 900 years of archival material and share Suffolk’s treasured stories, including digitally.
The total cost of the project is expected to be £20m. The county council has pledged £5m to the project and the University, £1m. A grant from the prestigious Wolfson Foundation has been awarded, and further fundraising by local charity the ‘Suffolk Archives Foundation’ will also support the project (www.suffolkarchivesfoundation.org.uk).
East Anglia based construction company R G Carter (whom you may have seen working on the Winerack at the moment) has been confirmed as the building contractor for the project. The company has experience of delivering award-winning archive, heritage and educational buildings.
Huge thanks are due to the staff, friends, stakeholders and donors who have supported the project so far. We look forward to welcoming you to The Hold when it opens at the end of 2019. Keep up to date at www.thehold.org.uk
In other news, at long last, the weather is starting to get better (at least, it is at the time of writing!), leading us back into the archives to peruse some of Suffolk’s May Day celebrations of yesteryear – we hope you enjoy these gems!