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Highland Archive Funding in place

Issued: 21 Mar 2007

The Highland Council has today announced that the final piece of the £10.2 million funding jigsaw for the cost of a new Highland Archive centre has been awarded.

Confirmation of the stage two process of a £4.3 million funding application has been confirmed by the Trustees of the Heritage Lottery Fund who met yesterday to make their final funding decision. The Highland Council is providing the balance of funding through the Highland 2007 legacy capital funding programme.

LDN Architects, based in Forres have been appointed by The Highland Council and they will be working in partnership with Ove Arup & Partners, AF Cruden Associates, and Torrance Partnership on the design of the new archive. The building will be located on a site within the Bught area of Inverness, adjacent to the synthetic pitch, and the Floral Hall.

Councillor Andy Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, said: "Confirmation from the Heritage Lottery Fund that we have the funding in place for the new Highland Archive centre is crucial to the development of the archive service throughout the Highlands and will allow for the return of archives to the Highlands currently held in Edinburgh.

"The Archive Centre is part of The Highland Council~s celebration of Highland 2007, when Scotland celebrates our culture. With construction intended to start during 2007 and opening in 2009, the Year of the Homecoming ~ it could not be more fitting - as a dedicated Family History Centre within the building will be available for members of the public wishing to trace their ancestry. This will prove an invaluable resource to genealogy tourism in 2009 and beyond."

Environmentally controlled repositories in the new Highland Archive will provide secure accommodation under the correct conditions for the storage of parchment, paper and records in other formats.

Search room facilities for public access to the archives will be provided, including specific provision for schools and community groups which has been enhanced in the design of the Highland Archive by providing a dedicated education and exhibition space.

An archive conservation unit will be included in the new building, staffed by trained archive conservators, where archives in a fragile condition may be treated and preserved for the benefit of future generations. This will be the first time such a facility has been available in the north of Scotland.

The Council's Registration Service will be co-located in the new Archive Centre, thus bringing together resources for family history research currently provided by the Council's Archives and Registration services at separate locations within Inverness. This will mirror the development of the Family History Campus being set up in Edinburgh by the National Archives of Scotland, the General Register Office for Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.

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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme