Cheshire West & Chester and its neighbouring local authority Cheshire East have launched procurement for a design team to deliver proposed history centres in Chester and Crewe.
The joint scheme, which will see each council commit £4.2m to a project estimated at slightly more than £14m, is for new purpose-built centres that will house the Cheshire Archives, currently housed at Duke Street, Chester in a venue described as no longer fit for purpose. Both cabinets approved the project in September.
The two councils are seeking a range of consultancy services including a design team, activity planning, interpretation and exhibition, business planning and external bid writing support – an application for Heritage Lottery Fund support is a key part of the funding plan.
Chester’s facility, to be based at the former Business Enterprise Centre at Hoole Road, will be a headquarters scheme and will house the majority of the collections, including the county-wide Local Studies collection. The need for a new facility was a strategic priority within the Chester Heritage and Visual Arts Strategy adopted in March.
The Crewe centre will be at the former library site, library services having been relocated in 2016.