The project will improve the way the documented heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire is gathered, kept and shared.
Development funding of £123,300 has been awarded to help Gloucestershire Archives progress our plans to apply for the full grant next year.
The project will enable archives staff, volunteers, partners and community groups to work together to preserve the ongoing story of how we live in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.
A new public space called the ‘Heritage Hub’ will be planned where people can come to view, and share, local archives.
Working in partnership with Gloucestershire Family History Society, Gloucestershire Constabulary, local history societies, Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, and South Gloucestershire Council, a full programme of community training and lasting volunteering opportunities will be developed.
Additional specialist storage will be developed at the archives site in Alvin Street Gloucester, including pioneering innovations in digital preservation, to expertly protect and add to local precious treasures.
One of the highlights of the development phase will be the Gloucestershire Constabulary community heritage project, which will open up the police archive collections and will pilot community training in archive techniques.
Councillor Ray Theodoulou, Deputy Leader at Gloucestershire County Council said, “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. This will enable us to take forward our plans for new strongrooms to house our historic county’s unique and irreplaceable records. We’re also keen to encourage volunteers and community groups to work alongside us to preserve and make accessible Gloucestershire’s archives for future generations.”
Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Saving our historic archives is really important as they provide such a valuable resource for anyone wanting to explore their past. Gloucestershire’s archives are bursting with stories and pictures that give us clues about what life was like and how that has shaped the area as we know it today. This initial support is a great first step in opening up these historic records for everyone to enjoy.”
This first-round pass means the project meets Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project will draw up fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award in the coming year.