Suffolk

Suffolk Record Office site proposed for Ipswich waterfront

Suffolk Research Centre Image copyright Concertus
Image caption The new building would "raise the profile of UCS as a major centre for heritage studies"

A multi-million pound proposal to move the Suffolk Record Office to Ipswich waterfront is being considered.

Suffolk County Council is looking at building a research centre on Fore Street opposite the main University Campus Suffolk (UCS) building.

The existing offices in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft would be retained, while the Gatacre Road building in Ipswich would be kept for storage.

The project would be dependent on Heritage Lottery Fund money.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The new research centre would be built behind the trees on the other side of Fore Street from the main UCS building

A plan to bring all three record offices together in one £6-10m purpose-built facility was abandoned in 2013.

The council spokesman said a study would establish if the new plan was financially feasible, but the cost was likely to be in the millions.

Suffolk Record Office, which has an annual budget of about £700,000, collects and preserves documents covering life in the county from the 12th Century to the present day.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The existing Suffolk Record Office on Gatacre Road, Ipswich would be kept for storage
Image copyright concertus
Image caption The rear of the proposed new centre on Fore Street between UCS and Suffolk New College

The centre would be built in conjunction with UCS on its campus and it would also include rooms for community use and a 200-seat auditorium.

Tim Greenacre, UCS deputy provost, said: "The improved access to archive collections will provide many new opportunities for students and academic staff, and will raise the profile of UCS as a major centre for heritage studies."

The council said work on the site could begin in 2017 if funding was approved.

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