Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk, who are partners in the project, announced that following a highly competitive tender process, world class, award winning architects Pringle Richards Sharratt have won the contract to develop the design for the new building.
The name of the new shared building has also been confirmed as ‘The Hold’, and will use the strapline ‘Explore. Discover. Connect.’ ‘The Hold’ is one of the commitments being delivered as part of the Ipswich Vision.
‘The Hold’ will incorporate facilities to house 900 years of Suffolk’s historical archives, along with exhibition space, exciting digital technology, a café, an auditorium and education/seminar rooms. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who have provided a grant of £538,000 to help the partners develop their proposals and apply for a delivery grant of over £10m later this year.
Pringle Richards Sharratt, who will lead a multi-disciplinary team of consultants to develop the design, have a diverse portfolio including similar projects to The Hold, such as the Hull History Centre, the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, and the Herbert Gallery and History Centre in Coventry.
Their current projects include the Ealing Studios in London, the Alderbrook development in Surrey and the St Cross building for Oxford University.
Over the coming weeks they will be familiarising themselves with Ipswich and the Suffolk archival collections that will live in the new building.
The Project Director for Pringle Richards Sharratt said: "This is an exciting and ambitious project with social inclusion and integration at the heart of its objectives. Pringle Richards Sharratt are delighted to have been selected from such a prestigious short list to work with Suffolk County Council and the University of Suffolk to create a new building anchored in the history, and future, of the county"
Cabinet Member and portfolio holder for Heritage, Councillor Richard Smith said: "We are pleased to have appointed Pringle Richards Sharratt and their consultant team to the project. We were impressed with their passion for design quality, their detailed understanding of archival needs, and how they have embraced the vision for ‘The Hold’ as a destination of which Suffolk can be proud. This is a crucial milestone in the project, marking the point where ideas and concepts begin to form something.”
Tim Greenacre, Registrar & Secretary at the University of Suffolk, said: “We welcome the appointment of Pringle Richards Sharratt (PRS) who have an excellent track record in delivering standout designs for historical and cultural projects. PRS faced some very stiff competition and together with Suffolk County Council we look forward to working closely with the PRS team on this important development based on the University’s Ipswich campus.”
Member of Parliament for Ipswich, the Rt. Hon Ben Gummer, said: “This is a very exciting project that will add another string to Ipswich’s already well-formed cultural bow. I am very grateful to the County Council for the way it has conducted this competition to ensure that we get a great design for this important new building. I am also grateful the external contributors to the process who have demonstrated, by their presence, the importance the whole of Suffolk places on the renaissance of Ipswich.”
‘The Hold’ is scheduled to open its doors in 2019, in time for the 900th anniversary of Suffolk Record Office’s oldest document, the Charter of King Henry I to the monks of Eye Priory. Suffolk County Council have committed to contribute £5m to the scheme, with a further £1m to be funded by the University Of Suffolk.
Over the coming months, partners and volunteers from ‘The Hold’ project will be at key events where you will be able to learn more and tell them your ideas. Further information on the project can be found at www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/the_hold
Published 24th January 2017