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Stafford's William Salt Library plans up for discussion

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to move the archives from Stafford’s William Salt Library into a single modern centre will be up for discussion next week.

The proposals are for a three-storey extension to Staffordshire Record Office in Eastgate Street to house the William Salt collection and Lichfield Record Office.

The site would include a new search room on the ground floor, an exhibition space and an additional 15 to 20 years expansion room for the collections.

The county council would apply for a £4 million Heritage Lottery Fund bid to pay for the project, as well as its own £469,000 investment.

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But the plans, due to be discussed by the county council’s cabinet on Wednesday, have caused outrage from some members of the public. More than 240 people took part in the public consultation last month.

Mary Dodkins, chairman of Staffordshire Heritage, says there are no figures to say the new space will be sufficient to house the collection, which includes records dating back to the 11th century.

She said: "Even with the extension we are worried that there will not be enough space for the records and they may be put in storage."

County councillor Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children, community and localism, said: “Before we move any of the collections we are working with findmypast to digitise over six million records including parish registers, wills and marriage bonds.”

John Giffard, chairman of the William Salt Library Trust, said the trust would work with the county council to ensure the library kept its own identity.

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  • unigrind  |  February 12 2014, 10:09PM

    Whilst it would be very sad to see a Stafford landmark disappear what worries me most is the number of empty buildings that the various moves into the new county council buildings will leave. Who pays the rates on them, who pays for security ? Unless buyers can be found for all of the empty county council buildings scattered around Stafford I cannot see how they can save the amount of money being claimed that the moves will saved.