Opportunity to shape plans for new history centre

Wednesday, 27th May 2020

PEOPLE from across Staffordshire are being reminded that there is still time to help shape exciting plans for a new history centre for the county.

Staffordshire could be home to a brand new £3.9m modern history centre if a new round two bid for funding submitted to The National Lottery Heritage Fund is successful.

The service now wants to hear from anyone who has an interest in history and heritage to help shape the plans.

People can have their say through the online survey at https://research.audiencesurveys.org/s.asp?k=158981160609 which takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The proposals for the Staffordshire History Centre project would see an extension to the existing Staffordshire Record Office on Eastgate Street in Stafford incorporating the William Salt Library.

The new centre would bring together the county’s extensive archives collections in one modern centre with additional strong rooms, reading areas, and research labs.

Rare archives, books and museum pieces would all be displayed in a dedicated exhibition space, with activities and collections taken out into local communities.

Front of Staffordshire History Centre from Eastgate Street, Stafford.

Front of Staffordshire History Centre from Eastgate Street, Stafford.

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “This is a very exciting and important project for the county, and we want people to be part of it.

“We have a fascinating history here in Staffordshire and it’s vital that we continue to preserve those archives and objects for future generations to enjoy.

“But as well as this we want to ensure that many more people including children and local communities can have easy access to the information and resources and that’s why we are asking for people’s views.  I would encourage anyone with an interest in their local history to have their say through the survey, so we can design a centre that is sustainable and fit for the future.”

As well as the new history centre, giving more people access to the service, making more records available online and getting local communities and schools more involved in activities are all part of the plans.

The project has been awarded initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and has been awarded £36,000 development funding to develop the project plans and apply for a full National Lottery grant of £3,964,000 at a later date.