Design team chosen to develop new Suffolk heritage centre “The Hold”

Hull History Centre - designed by the team that has been chosen to build "The Hold" in Ipswich.

Hull History Centre - designed by the team that has been chosen to build "The Hold" in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Could the new heritage centre near Ipswich Waterfront look anything like this spectacular civic building in the UK’s capital of culture?

The award-winning design team behind the Hull History Centre has been chosen to design “The Hold” which will combine Suffolk’s record office with exhibition space, an auditorium and cafe.

Architects Pringle Richards Sharratt have won the contract to develop the design for the new building.

The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who have provided a grant of £538,000 to help the partners develop their proposals and apply for a delivery grant of over £10m later this year.

Pringle Richards Sharratt, who will lead a team of consultants to develop the design, have a diverse portfolio including similar projects to The Hold, such as the Hull History Centre and the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton.

Over the coming weeks they will be getting to know Ipswich and the Suffolk archival collections that will live in the new building.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for heritage Richard Smith said: “We were impressed with their passion for design quality and how they have embraced the vision for ‘The Hold’ as a destination of which Suffolk can be proud.”

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Tim Greenacre from the University of Suffolk, said: “We welcome the appointment of Pringle Richards Sharratt (PRS) who have an excellent track record in delivering standout designs for historical and cultural projects.”

And Ipswich MP Ben Gummer added: “This is a very exciting project that will add another string to Ipswich’s already well-formed cultural bow.”

“The Hold” is scheduled to open its doors in 2019, in time for the 900th anniversary of Suffolk Record Office’s oldest document, the Charter of King Henry I to the monks of Eye Priory.

Suffolk County Council is to contribute £5m to the scheme, with a further £1m to be funded by the University Of Suffolk.

Although the final design of the building has yet to be drawn up, Pringle Richards Sharratt’s previous designs have helped regenerate urban areas of the country.