For the first time since 1962 the Cumbria Archive Centre is opening its doors on a weekend to help you find out more about local history.
This Saturday (9 July) will see the new £8.2m archives centre on Petteril Bank Road, open from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 1pm to 4pm.
The new centre, which opened on 1 June 2011, was nine years in the making and was made possible thanks to a £4.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – the largest grant the fund has ever awarded in Cumbria.
It has allowed the dilapidated, Georgian, Grade II* listed Lady Gillford’s House to be fully renovated and transformed by the addition of a new innovative glass-fronted building which houses the main archive strongrooms, the public area and the archives and maps rooms.
North Cumbria’s archive treasures are now housed in a temperature and humidity-controlled hi-tech strongroom protected by an inert gas fire protection system which would douse the room in gas to kill flames rather than water, which would damage the documents.
The new strongroom has the capacity to store the whole archive as well as 25 years of projected growth. The new opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm and every second Saturday in the month from 9.30am to 12.30am and from 1pm to 4pm.