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Have your say on future of Record Office services in North East Suffolk

Posted by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils on 21 September 2018 | Comments

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Suffolk County Council is seeking views on proposals for the future of Record Office services in North East Suffolk.

The current service in Lowestoft does not meet 21st Century collections care standards, putting vulnerable collections at risk of damage or loss. Currently, Lowestoft Record Office (LRO) is: -

  • At full capacity – some collections are already being stored at Ipswich Record Office (IRO)
  • Less efficient than other SRO facilities – running costs are comparatively higher as it is housing a smaller quantity of material. 
  • At risk of vulnerable collections being damaged by fire, smoke, and water/flood

It is clear that changes therefore need to be made in order for the service to continue in North East Suffolk. Suffolk County Council’s vision for a transformed service is set out in the consultation.

The new revitalised service will continue to operate from the Lowestoft library building. Any collections which can continue to be safely displayed on open shelving will remain in the library building. This includes key collections (e.g. parish register transcripts), fiche and film, maps and indexes, journals etc. and digital records – all of which are the reason many customers visit the Lowestoft branch already. A full list of the collections which will remain in the new service location is available as part of the consultation, available to view at www.suffolk.gov.uk/lroconsultation.

Vulnerable collections at risk of damage or loss will be safeguarded in The Hold building from 2020, which is designed to provide state-of-the-art purpose-built storage. 

The six-week consultation, which starts today (Friday 21st September), invites people to help Suffolk County Council shape the future of Record Office services in North East Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council is consulting on:     

  • Opening hours
  • Events and Activities
  • Collections and Digitisation
  • Volunteering opportunities

Full details of the proposals can be viewed in the consultation brochure:

Lowestoft Record Office Consultation Brochure

Cllr Paul West, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heritage, said: “We are grateful for the feedback we received from our pre-engagement with residents and this has been taken into account when developing plans for the transformed service. The new service will be staffed, and we have worked closely with senior archivists to keep many of the most well-used collections in Lowestoft.

“We want to see a thriving archive service for north-east Suffolkwhich reflects the way that people would like to access information and provides exciting new events and learning opportunities. We have a real opportunity for positive change and I would like to encourage residents to have their say and help us to shape the future service.”

Further details on these options can be found at www.suffolk.gov.uk/lroconsultation

To have your say, please fill out the consultation survey. Alternatively you can download a hard copy from the website and return to:

Suffolk County Council - Lowestoft Record Office Consultation
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 2BX

The consultation will end on Thursday 1st November 2018.