Good news for Staffordshire History Centre

Artists’ impression of how the Staffordshire History Centre will look

You will have heard me talk about how proud we are of Staffordshire’s amazing history and rich heritage many times before.

Well this week we got some encouraging news about the Staffordshire History Centre project and our application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding.

We’ve now been given the go ahead to make a round-two application for funding which the team will be doing next March (2020).

It’s great news and if we’re successful it would see an extension to the existing Staffordshire Record Office on Eastgate Street in Stafford incorporating the William Salt Library.

But, this project is not just about the new building, it’s about taking activities and collections out into local communities and getting people interested in local history. There are so many unique stories in Staffordshire waiting to be told and we want communities to get involved in developing the project.

We’ve seen a huge rise in the popularity of family history and ancestry in recent years, so the timing is perfect.

Our Archives and Heritage team continue to work closely with partners and local history groups on the plans which I have to say do look good. For a taste of what could be on offer visit Staffordshire Record Office to see the Distinctively Staffordshire exhibition which is on until 27 September.

Not only will the new centre provide a great visitor experience, but there will be additional strong rooms for future collections, exhibition space, and reading rooms too.  Rare archives, books and museum pieces would also be displayed in a dedicated exhibition space, and over six million online records, documenting the lives of ordinary Staffordshire people will be available.

The total cost of the project is £5.9m and we are looking for £3.9m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  We’ve already managed to raise £2m through various grants  and donations which is great, so if we can secure the Lottery funding we can move ahead and realise our vision.

I will keep you posted on progress, or you can visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Heritage-and-archives/Staffordshire-History-Centre.aspx for the latest updates.

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