See inside Ipswich's newest landmark building
PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:07 22 August 2019
Ipswich's newest heritage attraction 'The Hold' is rapidly taking shape - and aims to be a bridge between the town and the university as well as a link to the Waterfront.
The Hold will be the new home of the Suffolk record office - but it will also be an exhibition space, a cafe, and a valuable teaching centre for the University of Suffolk.
Building work on the new centre is now well underway and its shape is becoming clear. The £20m project is on target for completion by Easter next year and is set to come in on budget.
It is being built by locally-based construction group Carters and will be the new home for the Suffolk Records Office - keeping old and valuable documents in atmosphere-controlled safe rooms.
And it will aim to make the county's records much more accessible - while the centres at Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds will retain many of their local records.
Suffolk County Council cabinet member Paul West said the new building would attract visitors who had never been to the council's records offices in the past.
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The development of The Hold is being managed by Concertus for the council and university. Project manager Annett Thompson has visited the site every week to check on progress.
She said: "It has been wonderful to see how it has been developing. We are looking forward to welcoming our first visitors next spring."
The Hold will help to link the university's Waterfront buildings with its other departments leading towards Suffolk New College.
The building includes special strongrooms for the fragile documents. These rooms have thick floors and walls which will keep the temperature and humidity constant without the need for expensive air conditioning equipment.
Martin Fisher, from Carters, said: "This has been a very interesting and challenging project - creating the strongrooms and also a landmark building.
"We are also completing the Wine Rack on the Waterfront with a local workforce. We are really pleased to be involved in this transformational work."
And it was also welcomed by Peter Gray from the Suffolk Archives Foundation for its work in making the record office more accessible and encouraging local history research.