Bury may get county’s high tech heritage centre

West Suffolk College

West Suffolk College

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Bury St Edmunds has been shortlisted for a new state of the art heritage centre bringing all Suffolk’s historic 
archives under one roof.

It is part of plans for a major revamp of Suffolk’s heritage services approved by the county’s Cabinet on Tuesday.

As well as a purpose-built heritage centre it also allows county officers to set up a joint strategy with district and borough councils to develop a countywide strategy for heritage and will reorganise the county’s Archaeology Service.

The two sites being considered for a heritage centre are around West Suffolk College in Bury and on the university campus at Ipswich. A study suggested it must be in a centre of population, near a university or college, close to other attractions and with good broadband access.

It will bring together archives currently housed in records offices in Bury, Ipswich and Lowestoft and it will provide a new base for the Archaeology Service, currently run from an Ipswich industrial unit. As well as offices and storage, it will have display areas, public research rooms, reading areas, conference rooms and a cafe.

The report to Cabinet put the cost between £9 million and £40 million, depending upon whether it was built to meet future archive storage needs for the next 25 or 75 years. It is scheduled to open in 2016.

Full story in Friday’s Bury Free Press.