Plans for The Keep moved another step forward with the submission of a planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council in October 2010.
The Keep is destined to be the new home for the collections of the East Sussex Record Office and the Brighton History Centre among others, and if all goes according to plan (and funding is forthcoming) it should be opened to the public in 2013.
The hope is that a decision will be reached by the 14th January 2011 and all the documentation about the application can be found on the Brighton & Hove City Council website in their planning register (application number BH2010/03259).
The application itself is described as being for the “Construction of an archive centre comprising lecture and educational facilities, reading room, conservation laboratories, archivist study areas, offices, cleaning and repair facilities for archives, repository block and refreshment area. Associated energy centre, car, coach and cycle parking, waste and recycling storage, landscaping including public open space and access.”
Delving into the documentation provides some interesting reading. The first document on the list is the application form and this includes opening hours which it gives as 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, with two evenings during the week and one Sunday a month. I fully expect these to change by the time it opens, but being able to visit on a Sunday would be a great advantage for me.
There is still much consultation and discussion to be done, but at least the plans have moved another step closer to completion.
At last there is some sign of progress on the plans for The Keep, the new archive centre for East Sussex. The Keep is a joint project between East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Sussex.
The East Sussex County Council website now includes much more detail on the project than have previously been available. This includes maps, site plans, floor plans and artists impressions of the new centre, as well as a proposed timeline for the project.
A period of public consultation will take place between the 26th April and 28th May 2010. A feature of this will be three public exhibitions at local libraries, Lewes Library (12th May), Eastbourne Library (13th May) and the Jubilee Library in Brighton (26th May).
Everyone is invited to take part in the consultation, and there is a survey on the website to complete or opinions can be expressed via traditional methods, contact details can all be found on the website.
I will be having a closer look at the proposal in the coming weeks, but at first glance there appears to be important factor missing from the plans. There is no mention of how the whole project is going to be paid for. I am sure I am not the only one who would welcome some clarification on where the money is coming from.
Brighton and Hove City Council have today announced that the Brighton History Centre will not be closed as part of cost saving measures being considered by the Council.
According to a press release issued today, council leader Mary Mears stated that since the threatened closure was proposed “the level of affection for these services has become very obvious, so I’ve taken the decision to redirect some of our discretionary spending towards keeping these centres open.”
This is great news for local and family historians, ultimately the resources of the Brighton History Centre will join those of the East Sussex Record Office at “The Keep”, a new archive centre, which has yet to be built or even obtain planning permission, although the authorities expect it to be finished in two years time.
As someone who has made extensive use of the Brighton History Centre in the past and can now continue to do so in the future, I would like to say thank you to all those who signed the ePetition, wrote to the council and local press in support of the Brighton History Centre and who fought to keep the centre open.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the threat of closure to the Brighton History Centre.
The closure of this valuable facility would be a great loss to local and family history researchers with an interest in the city.
An ePetition has now appeared on the Brighton and Hove City Council website, and I would urge anyone who qualifies (according to the website “a person of any age who lives, works or studies in Brighton and Hove”) to sign the petition to try an save this wonderful resource.
There is some worrying news coming out of Brighton, East Sussex. As reported on The Argus website yesterday, Brighton History Centre is under threat of closure.
It appears that Brighton and Hove City Council are considering closing the centre, in an effort to reduce it’s overall budget by £8 million next year. The closure of the centre itself is hoped to save the council £62,000.
The problem I have with this, other than the potential loss of this valuable resource, is that there doesn’t appear to have been any definitive statement on the planned closure. The news report says that the process is still in the discussion stage, so presumably more details will become available soon.
It has been said that some of the resources will be moved to the Jubilee Library in Brighton, but the centre’s most valuable assets, it’s staff, will face redundancy. Then there is mention of “The Keep” the planned new archive for Brighton and East Sussex, although it hasn’t really progressed past the planning stage.
Any loss of services is regrettable, but without further details it is hard to assess what the impact of this proposal will be. Watch this space….