Staffordshire History Centre

Work progresses on Staffordshire History Centre

During Septemeber people were given the opportunity to see plans for the new multi-million pound Staffordshire History Centre for the first time.

The plans, revealed at a series of events held throughout September, included artist’s impressions and a 3D model of what the new centre could look like.

About the plans

The new £4m centre would be located on Eastgate Street in Stafford and will hold historical records and collections up to 1,000 years old. 

Along with a new community exhibition space, modern reading and search rooms and a packed programme of activities the centre will also have additional strong rooms, providing storage for an additional 25 years of future collections.

Open Day Display Materials

If you were unable to attend one of our open sessions, you may be intersted in dowanloading the full set of display information below.  Made avaiilable as a PDF.

It includes some detailed proposed floor plans, and further infotrmation about the site, interpretation, access and design.

PDF Document Download the Staffordshire History Centre Presentation Boards 62Mb

Project Background

In October 2016 the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) granted us permission to start work on the Development Phase of the Project.  Since then, consultants have been appointed to work with us to develop the following documents, required for the HLF Stage 2 bid.

  • Activity Plan
  • Learning Plan
  • Active Partnership Framework
  • Conservation Management Plan
  • Business Plan

Funding of £333,400 for the development phase has already been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with a Round II bid being submitted in March 2018.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “It is great to see the plans for the new History Centre developing so swiftly. The project has the potential to bring the history of ordinary Staffordshire life to a large number of people, and we’re delighted that money from National Lottery players can help support it. We are looking forward to seeing the detailed proposals in due course”.

We are now working with a Design team to further develop the plans for the new build and refurbishment works necessary to create the new Staffordshire History Centre.  

This is also required for the Stage 2 bid, which we expect to submit in Spring 2018. If succesful work on the new centre could start as early as April 2019.

Stakeholders Workshop

On 22 March 2017 stakeholders were invited to a workshop to review progress and to contribute their ideas to forward planning.  Here is a short video about the workshop. 

About the new History Centre project

The new Staffordshire History Centre will hold records up to 1,000 years old, as well as having a new community exhibition space, modern search rooms and strong rooms to provide storage for an additional 25 years of future collections.

The project follows months of planning and consultation with local people, history groups and local historians.

You can read the full background to the project and the overall vision for the service here, as well as access to several supporting documents.

Delivering improved access to services

Existing records currently held at the Lichfield Record Office and the William Salt Library will now be moved into the new centre and more records will continue to be made available online.  A new local and family history access point will also be created in Lichfield Library where people can access a range of digital collections.

Rare archives will be displayed in a state of the art exhibition space, and over six million parish records, documenting the lives of ordinary Staffordshire people will be available in the new centre and online.

Exciting activity programme and local opportuntiies

Added to this, the project will deliver a four year county wide activity programme, which includes a school’s learning programme, touring exhibitions and the digitisation of key collections. 

More than 100 volunteers will be enlisted to help deliver the history centre project, which will reach out to historians and people interested in researching their family history.

We will begin to list the details of these activities here soon.

About the Heritage Lottery Grant Funding

A development grant of £333,400 and initial support for a full grant of £3,965,600 has been made available from the Heritage Lottery Fund with the County Council contributing £412,000 towards the project. 

An additional £100,000 has been made available through the Joint Archives Committee reserves and a further £150,000 is expected to be raised through other grants, foundations, businesses and charitable trusts.

Keep up to date with History Centre news

You can follow on social media via Twitter @ArchandHeritage or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StaffordshireArchivesandHeritage

More about the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds.  A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

HLF invests money raised via the National Lottery to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Visit them at www.hlf.org.uk or on Twitter @heritagelottery

About our future vision for the service

The Archive and Heritage Service comprises:

  • Staffordshire County Museum
  • Staffordshire Record Office
  • Stoke on Trent City Archives
  • Lichfield Record Office
  • William Salt Library (a charitable library run on behalf of the William Salt Library Trust)
  • Burton Family and Local History Centre

Following public consulation and extensive conversation with service users The Joint Archives Committee approved a robust version of the Vision for the future delivery of our service.

The vision proposes a plan for:

  • Involving more people in our Service by working in partnership with users, depositors, Friends, councils and trustees.
  • A sustainable service that can be more resilient and able to care for the collections we hold.
  • Buildings that provide the right conditions for our collections and a public service that retains its excellent rating for customer service.
  • Reaching more and new people to enjoy and use our collections taking the Service into communities and working with them to deliver new activities.
  • Improving our online service to offer access to more digitised collections, managing digital records, and reaching people through social media.

A full version of the finalised vision for the archives service is available on our page dedicated to the full background of vision planning and public consultations here, under the heading Supporting Documents. 

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