Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Centre News

Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Centre News

£13 Million Scheme to Create New History Centres


Progress is continuing on a Cheshire Archives plan to create two new bespoke history centres, one in Chester and one in Crewe

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies is a shared service between CWAC and CEC. The £13 million scheme would see each authority contribute £4.2m with the remainder sought via a bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. 

Chester's new history centre is earmarked for the site of the former Cheshire Enterprise Centre off Hoole Road which burnt down in December 2010. Crewe's history centre would be located at the 'Old Library' in the town centre. The current Cheshire Record Office off Duke Street in Chester is said to be 'no longer fit for purpose'. 

Both councils recently placed an advert seeking a quantity surveyor to implement this Local Archives project in a £90,000 contract. This follows news that National Heritage Lottery Fund gave permission to start the archives project in March 2020 with initial round one funding of £544,900.  This current development phase of the project runs for 18 months and includes:

  • Developing activities to engage new audiences with archives across the county
  • Drawing up detailed plans for the proposed new centres in Chester and Crewe
  • Writing a delivery phase funding bid for 2021

Detailed proposals will then be considered by the Lottery Heritage Fund with a view to securing full second round funding of £4,455,100.

The centres would be climate-controlled environments to house collections, better display them and make them more interactive. Chester's would house the majority of the collections. It is described as 'a natural, logical home for the service' given the city's long history as the seat of county government.