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Pringle Richards Sharratt’s Suffolk archive centre secures £10.3m lottery grant

The hold suffolk county archive
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Pringle Richards Sharratt’s heritage centre for Suffolk’s archives has been awarded a £10.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

The money will enable the completion of The Hold – a joint venture by Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk – to be built beside the Ipswich Waterfront.  

The £20 million centre will house the majority of the county’s archival collections as well as state-of-the-art public facilities and teaching spaces for the University of Suffolk.  An exhibition area will allow some archives to be put on display for the first time. 

The design will open up a new pedestrian route to the town centre and provide a public search room, archive store, conservation, digitisation and other facilities. education and seminar rooms, a 200-seat auditorium, an exhibition gallery, a bookshop and a café.

The county council has pledged £5 million towards the scheme, the university £1 million. 

The project team previously secured development funding of £538,000 from the HLF and a grant from the Wolfson Foundation. There will be further fundraising by the Suffolk Archives Foundation.

Building work will start this spring, with The Hold scheduled to open by the end of 2019.

Last summer, Pringle Richards Sharratt won a £4 million competition for a heritage centre in Stafford.

Councillor Tony Goldson, portfolio holder for heritage at Suffolk County Council, said: ‘The Hold project will enable us to deliver many more archive-related events, learning activities and digital programmes than we can currently offer across the whole county, whilst completely transforming our ability to care for and showcase our county’s records and collections. 

‘This means more people will be able to connect with our wonderful collections than ever before.’ 

University of Suffolk registrar and secretary Tim Greenacre added: ‘The university is delighted to be hosting The Hold, and this award is testament to the hard work of all those involved in developing the project.

‘The Hold will deliver exceptional facilities for all those interested in exploring Suffolk’s heritage, alongside some outstanding new teaching and conference space for the university.’

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