Posted: Sun 28th Apr 2024

Mold: £7.3m lottery fund boost for new North East Wales archives centre

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils have announced a major financial boost for regional heritage, as The National Lottery Heritage Fund has allocated a £7.3 million grant to establish a new facility for the North East Wales Archives (NEWA).

The funding will complement contributions of £2 million from Denbighshire County Council and £3 million from Flintshire County Council, enabling NEWA to consolidate its operations currently spread across Ruthin and Hawarden, into a single, purpose-built, net carbon zero facility in Mold.

The move is aimed at future-proofing the preservation of the region’s historical documents and artefacts.

Liz Grieve, Head of Housing and Communities Service at Denbighshire County Council, emphasised the necessity of the project.

“Local Authorities have a statutory duty to maintain an archive, and the current facilities are not fit for purpose,” she stated.

“The decision to proceed with this project was made in October 2023, after careful consideration of financial challenges and potential solutions.”

“This collaborative approach with Flintshire County Council provides the best value for money and leverages Heritage Fund resources that might otherwise be inaccessible,” Liz Grieve added.

Claire Homard, Chief Officer for Education & Youth at Flintshire County Council, highlighted the project’s community impact.

Named ‘Creative Archives’, the initiative aims to transform how NEWA operates, enhancing public access to collections and expanding interaction between staff and the community.

The project will also include an enriched outreach and digital programme, facilitating broader regional and international access to the archives, along with new spaces for research, performances, and exhibitions.

Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, celebrated the initiative’s broader significance.

“Projects like these not only preserve our heritage but also turn it into a vibrant vision that benefits future generations,” he remarked. He credited National Lottery players for enabling such transformative projects.

For years, Ruthin Gaol and The Old Rectory in Hawarden have housed the archive services but are now unable to meet the growing needs and expectations.

The new Mold facility will address these challenges, enhancing accessibility for a more diverse audience and ensuring the collections’ preservation for future generations.

While the main archive will move to Mold, a smaller archive presence will remain in Ruthin, allowing Ruthin Gaol to develop an enhanced visitor experience to boost footfall and revenue.

The new archive centre is expected to open in late 2027.

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