Consultation on the Location of Archive Service

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Cheshire West and Chester Council would like to receive your views on the potential future locations for Cheshire Archives and Local Studies service.

Background
The Archives and Local Studies service preserves and provides access to the historic written record of the county of Cheshire. The archives reflect the lives, interests and activities of Cheshire's communities from the 12th century to the present day, and are used and enjoyed by over one million people each year; at the Cheshire Record Office in Chester, via Local Studies collections in libraries, via the service's website and through outreach events and activities.
The storage conditions for Cheshire's unique and irreplaceable written heritage, however, are inadequate. The environmental conditions do not meet current standards and there is little expansion space for the growing collection held by the service.
Customer facilities at the Record Office are cramped and increasingly do not meet customers' needs. These issues were identified by a National Archives inspection of the service in 2010, which led to a review of the service in 2012. Members of the Shared Services Joint Committee recommended that an analysis of potential sites for new premises should be undertaken. This took place between January and March 2014.

Six locations across Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East have been identified as potentially suitable for the Archives and Local Studies service. These sites were identified by Elected Members, supported by officers and external consultants, who were appointed to review a longer list of sites late in 2013. Later in 2014, further decisions will need to be taken about a future home for the service.
A consultation has now commenced to gather views The consultation documents can be found here under "latest news"
The consultation will run until 30 June 2014

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