Isle of Wight Council is looking for a design team for a new public records archive
The team chosen for the commission will explore a range of options for converting part of the former Westridge Leisure Centre near Ryde into a centralised records office for the island.
The project will create a modern facility for a range of documents, dating back to the 12th century and covering parishes, estates, families, businesses, schools and local government.
In its brief, the council say it ‘has endeavoured for many years to find a long-term solution to the capacity issues faced by the record office location and has explored and developed a wide range of redevelopment options from new-build facilities to extensions on other existing council sites.
‘One council facility which has never been properly explored for use in this purpose is the Former Westridge Leisure Centre, on Brading Road in Ryde. Westridge houses a variety of council services and facilities which have evolved significantly since the original leisure centre closed.
‘Until recently a commercially let space was previously occupied by the Waltzing Waters tourism attraction at the heart of the building. It is the recently vacated space, formerly the Waltzing Waters attraction which this scope seeks to fully explore.’
Located off the coast of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight is the largest and second-most populous island in England with more than 140,000 inhabitants. The local authority currently holds its records in three separate locations across the island.
The Isle of Wight Record Office is currently based inside a former police house opposite Newport Police Station on Fairlee Road, Newport. Additional material is also held in the Guildhall in Newport and the council’s corporate stores facility in Cowes.
The latest project aims to deliver a modern fit-for-purpose archive capable of hosting all of the existing documents and accommodate additional material in the future.
The new facility will be constructed inside the former Westridge Leisure Centre close to Ryde and home to a range of council facilities including an archaeology department.
The archive will be constructed inside a 577m² hall originally built as a swimming pool and later converted to a ‘Waltzing Waters’ visitor attraction which closed several years ago.
The deadline for applications is 2pm, 18 October.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Isle of Wight Council
Isle of Wight