November 21, 2022
Plans have been submitted for two new state-of-the-art history centers which would preserve Cheshire’s archives for future generations and open up the collections to a whole new audience.
Cheshire Archives and Local Studies – a shared service of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester Councils – looks after the county’s unique and irreplaceable written and pictorial history and drives forward plans to relocate the collections to two new bespoke facilities .
The project, titled ‘Cheshire Archives: A Shared History’, proposes a brand new history center in Crewe – on the site of the old town library, next to Memorial Square – and a new history center at Hoole, Chester, to replace the archives. the current installation of the service, which is no longer suitable for use.
Planning applications for both centers have now been submitted, alongside plans for the transformation of civic and cultural space between the Lifestyle Center and Memorial Square, Crewe, which would provide the first phase of a new high quality public space in the city center.
Councilor Jill Rhodes, Head of Archives at Cheshire East Council, said: ‘The Cheshire Archives record the history of the county over the past 900 years, and it is great news that we are moving forward with our joint plans to relocate the collections to facilities that would meet current standards to ensure their long-term preservation.
“We also want to transform the way the archive works and give local people better access to the collections and opportunities to interact more easily with them, helping them celebrate their personal history and that of their community.
“In Crewe itself, the History Center would help the town celebrate its heritage and support the goals of Crewe’s cultural strategy, as well as continuing the work underway to provide more reasons for people to come to Crewe more often. the city.
‘I encourage anyone interested in the County Archives or the ongoing regeneration of Crewe to take a look at the plans and submit their comments on these applications.’
Plans for the history centers, which would have an air-conditioned environment, include large event and gallery spaces to host performances, workshops and exhibitions, more spaces for people to carry out research and better spaces for staff and volunteers to work with the collections to make them more accessible.
Work to date has been funded by Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Another grant application to help with the project was submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in August and a decision on this is expected by the end of the year.
The civic and cultural space regeneration proposal for Crewe is part of a package of projects underway following Cheshire East Council’s successful £14.1million bid to the Future High Streets Fund from the government and is also backed by Crewe’s allowance of up to £22.9m from the government. Cities funds.
Plans include new planting, lighting and seating, as well as clearing the site of the former Crewe Library and the structure above the existing Civic Center car park, which would then provide the cleared site needed to the new development.
Plans also include a new parking lot and a new two-story entrance to the Magistrates Courts.
Councilor Nick Mannion, chairman of Cheshire East Council’s Economy and Growth Committee, said: “This scheme would provide the first part of an attractive new pedestrian link through the cultural and civic quarter of the city center and would transform a space that has historically attracted anti-social behavior.
“Completion of a second and final phase of public realm works adjacent to the planned history center is expected to be delivered following construction of the center and would include high quality paving and planting areas, activity space , new seats, bike racks and public art.”
The second phase is also funded by the government’s Towns Fund. For more information and to view plans for the Crewe History Centre, visit the council’s planning portal and search application reference 22/4451N.
The application reference for the Civic and Cultural Space Regeneration Project is 22/4472N.
To see plans for the Chester History Center visit the Cheshire West and Chester Council website and search for application reference 22/04233/FUL