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Ipswich archive centre The Hold topped out as roof takes shape

PUBLISHED: 16:44 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 25 September 2019

Topping Out ceremony at The Hold in Ipswich   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Topping Out ceremony at The Hold in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Work on Ipswich's new record office and heritage centre The Hold has reached a crucial point with a "topping out" ceremony on the roof.

Topping Out ceremony at The Hold in Ipswich   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTopping Out ceremony at The Hold in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It took place on the roof of The Hold on the University of Suffolk's Waterfront campus.

The highest point on the new building - opposite the university's iconic Waterfront headquarters - was marked with the traditional ceremony as the highest piece of roofing was fitted in place.

Contractors RG Carter, joined senior officers from Suffolk County Council, the university, Ipswich Vision and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for the ceremony.

Locally brewed low alcohol 'Ghost Ship' pale ale from Southwold brewers Adnams was poured onto the newly completed roof to mark the milestone.

Topping Out ceremony at The Hold in Ipswich   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTopping Out ceremony at The Hold in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

And in keeping with Dutch tradition - a nod to Ipswich's historical connections with the country - bottles were handed out to all the construction workers as the Suffolk Flag flew high from the building to mark the occasion.

The Hold will be the centre of the Archives service reaching out to Ipswich, the county and the nation.

The project is a partnership between Suffolk Archives and the university, a part of Ipswich Vision and is supported by heritage organisations across the county. It received a major HLF grant.

Paul West, cabinet member with responsibility for Heritage, said: "The Hold will not only transform our ability to care for and showcase our county's records and collections, but it will also engage audiences right across the county, bringing local and nationally significant exhibitions to all Suffolk Archives branches, state of the art research facilities and more access than ever before to digital collections.

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"The Hold is set to open its doors next spring and we can't wait to see you there!"

Tim Greenacre from the university said: "Today marks a huge milestone in the construction of The Hold. We are delighted with the progress so far and look forward to its opening in the spring. "

And Martin Fisher from R G Carter added: "It's been great to see this educational vision in Ipswich come to life, and today is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the progress of this heritage space with future staff and key stakeholders."

Anne Jenkins from the HLF, said: "This is an exciting milestone for The Hold and another step closer to opening the doors to an incredible archive of the story of Suffolk - and beyond. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, those stories are already being shared across the county ensuring more people than ever can explore and enjoy their heritage. We look forward to celebrating the opening of The Hold next year."

Terry Hunt, Chairman of Ipswich Vision, said: "The Development of The Hold was one of the original Ipswich Vision projects.

"It is an exciting project not just for Ipswich but also for Suffolk and the wider region. A real legacy for all our residents, visitors and students.

"It is another significant development for the Waterfront and a valuable resource for the heritage of the area."

To mark the topping out of The Hold, local heritage charity, Suffolk Archives Foundation has launched its "Make your Mark" campaign to encourage public support for the project.

Funds raised will go towards meeting remaining construction costs at The Hold and the fitting-out of the interior of the building to the high standards that visitors from all walks of life deserve.

Foundation chair Peter Gray said: "The 'Make Your Mark' campaign provides an opportunity for people across the county to get involved in The Hold right from the outset.

"We really hope anyone with an interest in local history will want to add their names to a specially crafted donors' book, which will be kept and displayed at The Hold. This book has been hand made by local company Owl Bookbinding and it will itself become part of Suffolk's historical archives."

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