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New Carlisle Archive Centre: overview

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Planned new Cumbria Archives (Carlisle)

What is happening?

Work has started on this exciting new project to provide a brand new archives facility for Carlisle and North Cumbria.  It will also restore and reopen to the public one of the most well-known and well-loved buildings in this area of Carlisle.

The 8.2m project to create a new high-tech, modern, 21st century Cumbria Archives at Petteril Bank has been funded by a 4.8m grant from Heritage Lottery Fund (the largest ever such grant awarded in Cumbria) with Cumbria County Council also contributing significant investment.

Work to replace the Record Office at Carlisle Castle will involve renovating and restoring the existing Lady Gillford's House and building a brand new extension alongside it in order to provide high-quality, modern archive facilities.   The mixture of a classic Grade II-listed building and a brand new, modern extension will create a landmark to be proud of in this area of Carlisle and also open up a historic building to public access. The grounds around Lady Gillford's House will also be landscaped and there will be improved cycle and pedestrian links to the Petteril Valley.

English Heritage has been closely involved in creating a building design which will be an innovative and striking balance of old and new. The architects, Austin-Smith:Lord of Manchester, have already developed a number of cultural landmark buildings including the Bluecoats Arts Centre in Liverpool, and the John Rylands Library in Manchester.

Lady Gillford's House

When when will it finish?

After planning permission and listed building consent were granted for the project, work started in January 2009. The construction work is expected to last a year. After that, it will take about six months to relocate the archives and the new facility will open in autumn 2010 [update: opening delayed.  CONFIRMED that Archive Centre will open on 1 June 2011].

Please get in touch with us if you would like to know more about the project, or to find out more about how you can use the archives. Contact: Anne Rowe, Archive Service Manager or David Bowcock, Assistant County Archivist at Cumbria Archive Centre, Lady Gillford's House, Petteril Bank Road, Carlisle, CA1 3AJ. Tel. 01228 227285 or email anne.rowe@cumbriacc.gov.uk  david.bowcock@cumbriacc.gov.uk
Images of the proposed exterior and interior