Agenda item

Staffordshire History Centre update

Joint report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities (Staffordshire County Council) and Chief Operating Officer – Resources Directorate (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)


The Committee considered a joint report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities (Staffordshire County Council) and Chief Operating Officer – Resources Director (Stoke-on-Trent City Council) regarding the outcome of the bid which had been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for development of the Staffordshire History Centre.


The Committee had previously been informed of the findings of the consultations which had been held into the options for delivery of the Archives and Heritage Vision for Staffordshire. The preferred option (Option A) was to create a Staffordshire History Centre with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). It entailed redeveloping the Staffordshire Record Office and William Salt Library sites in order to put the collections from the library and Lichfield Record Office into new storage in the correct conditions and create a browsing space and programme of activities eg touring exhibitions and schools’ learning to engage with the public. The upper floors of the William Salt Library building would be used for income generation and a new access point would be created for Lichfield.


At their previous meeting, the Committee learned that the HLF bid had been submitted on 11 February 2016. Subsequently, the HLAF Board had considered the bid at their meeting on 24 May 2016 and had awarded the County Council and their partners a stage one pass and a grant of up to £4.29m split into two phases ie a development phase and a delivery phase. During the delivery phase £333,350 would be received to enable the development of (i) designs for the new history centre to Royal Institute of British Architects Stage 3 standard; (ii) an activity plan in consultation with stakeholders; (iii) Conservation, Management, Maintenance and Business plans together with a Fundraising Strategy and Learning Policy; (iv) calculation of the detailed costings for the delivery stage and (v) further fundraising to secure the remaining £150,000 required.


A Stage 2 application for £3,965,590 would then be submitted to the HLF and members noted the estimated project costs set out in the table contained in the report. In the meantime a start-up meeting of the Project Board was to be held and HLF were to appoint two mentors to assist in the delivery of the scheme. In addition work was to begin on remodelling the Archive and Heritage Service to deliver the Staffordshire History Centre.


In response to a request for clarification, the County Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities said that it was anticipated the Stage 2 application for HLF funding would be submitted in December 2017 following which there would be a three month wait for a decision to issued. Subject to its success it was hoped that construction work on the new Centre would begin in late spring early summer 2018 with the official opening taking place in 2020.       


RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.


(b) That further updates on the project be brought to the Committee as and when required.                  

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