For the Record: Archives building to become ‘Gloucestershire Heritage Hub'
Calling all history buffs: the county council is transforming Gloucestershire Archives into a brand new community facility.
The 'For the Record’ project will future-proof Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire's archive of historic documents and offer a variety of community activities.
Tens of thousands of unique and irreplaceable documents from Gloucestershire's colourful history are stored in the building - equal to over 9 miles of records. The oldest dates back to the 12th century – and soon new technology and ways of working with partners will make the information more accessible for anyone interested in researching local or family history.
The upgraded building, which is based in Alvin Street, Gloucester, will also offer volunteering opportunities, training and activities that will appeal to a wide range of local people, including schools, older people and those with early-stage dementia.
The facility currently attracts a growing network of people interested in the documented heritage of historic Gloucestershire. The ‘For the Record’ project will improve the way these records are gathered, kept and shared.
Demolition and digging of foundations is about to get underway. Phase two will begin in summer, when a new front entrance and training suite will be built.
Both Gloucestershire Archives and Gloucestershire Family History Society will remain open for business during the building works. However, for public safety, the car park and footpath between Alvin Street and Kingsholm Road are closed. Nearby public car parks are available in Hare Lane and Great Western Road, and parking for blue badge holders will still be available at the site.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader of Gloucestershire County Council and cabinet member for finance and change, said: “The Archives service plays an important role in the community, bridging the gap between past and future and providing a source of knowledge and social interaction. It is thanks to the tireless energy and enthusiasm of the many volunteers that this service has proven such a success, and I am delighted that it will now be upgraded. The project will help preserve Gloucestershire's rich heritage and encourage more people to take an interest in local history, helping to build a sense of pride in our county.
"Aside from being able to fulfil our duty to keep records I am especially pleased that older generations are set to benefit from this upgrade and I look forward to seeing the developments unfold at Alvin Street."