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National Lottery grants £10m to build The Hold heritage centre in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 11:04 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:56 05 April 2018

A model of The Hold that is due to open at the end of next year. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

A model of The Hold that is due to open at the end of next year. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Archant

Suffolk is to get a new £20m records office and heritage centre after winning more than £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project.

Artist's impression of The Hold, the new Suffolk Records' Office for Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILArtist's impression of The Hold, the new Suffolk Records' Office for Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

The Hold will be built in Ipswich on part of the University of Suffolk campus near the Waterfront area – and the lottery grant of £10.3m has now been confirmed.

However the scheme is not without its critics – the Ipswich Society described the proposed development as “a mundane series of boxes” when the county council gave planning permission earlier this year.

The county council says The Hold will offer a bespoke home for the majority of Suffolk’s unique archival collections, as well as public facilities and teaching spaces for the university.

The Hold is expected to attract thousands of visitors each year, seeking to research local history, find out about their families, or to take part in events and activities.

The total cost of the project is expected to be £20m. The county council has pledged £5m for the building and the university, £1m.

The project team previously secured development funding of £538,000 from the HLF, bringing the total National Lottery funding to £10.8m and an £80,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation.

Further fundraising by the “Suffolk Archives Foundation” will also support the project.

East Anglia based construction company R G Carter will build The Hold. Work will begin this spring and it is scheduled to open by the end of 2019.

Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Heritage, said: “We are delighted to receive this National Lottery funding and it’s fantastic to see the project we’ve worked so hard for being brought to life.”

Tim Greenacre, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Suffolk said, “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.”

Ipswich Society chairman John Norman, writing in the society’s newsletter, is scathing about the modern design of the building.

He wrote: “What is proposed is a mundane series of boxes, an anywhere building without presence, panache or style.”

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