Posted: Fri 10th Mar 2023

Cheshire’s historic written records to get a brand new home after planning approval

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 10th, 2023

Cheshire’s ‘unique and irreplacable’ written history dating back more than 900 years is set to get a new home, after planning chiefs gave the green light to a brand new facility.

Cheshire West and Chester’s planning committee backed plans to build a new history centre off Lightfoot Street in Chester.

The building – to be constructed on the site of the now demolished Enterprise Centre – will be run by The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies service.

It will be one of two such facilities in the county – with the other being in Crewe – and together they will replace the archives service’s current facility on Duke Street, which is deemed no longer up to standard.

The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies service collects and holds archives and publications about the history of communities of Cheshire dating back more than 900 years.

It works across the boroughs of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils.

The archives need to be stored in strict airtight conditions to manage the temperature and humidity 24 hours a day.

Project backers said these conditions are proving difficult in the existing building, and that the collections need to be rehoused in a more climate-controlled environment to better preserve them.

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies manager Paul Newman told the committee the site would provide a new home to Cheshire’s ‘unique and irreplacable’ written history.

He said: “Cheshire’s archives dating from the Middle Ages to the present day tell the histories of our communities.

“It will for the first time ensure that all of Cheshire’s archives, our community memory bank will be held in conditions that ensure their long term preservation.

“And importantly, the centre will also bring the archives and the many stories within them to a far wider, larger and more diverse audience.”

The new centre will also stage events and provide gallery spaces to host workshops and talks. It will also provide enhanced access for  the public and for research purposes.

The scheme will be funded by Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East Councils along with the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Moving recommendation, committee member Cllr Peter Rooney, said: “Given that there are very few objections, we do need a new archive.
“It’s been through a public consultation as well. I’m quite happy to put this forward for acceptance.”

The plans were approved unanimously.

 

By Mark Smith – Local Democracy Reporter

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