The team working on the Highlands £10.5 million Archive and Registration Centre – set to showcase archives that are of world significance – is feeling on top of the world with the completion of the main roofing works.
At a recent ceremony to mark the occasion Convener of The Highland Council, Sandy Park was invited to lead ceremonial duties by using a specialist tool to complete the roofing works while the Centre’s design team, contractors, Morrison Construction, and funding partners, Heritage Lottery Fund, looked on.
The new centre is a Highland 2007 legacy project which will open to the public during Scotland’s Year of Homecoming in October 2009. It will provide secure and environmentally controlled facilities for the permanent preservation of archives dating back to the 15th Century, and facilities for public access to the collections. It will also include (for the first time in the Highlands) an Archive Conservation Studio where fragile manuscripts will be conserved and preserved for the benefit of future generations. The Centre will include an extensive Family History Centre for the use of those wishing to research their family tree, and the co-location of the Registration Service within the Centre will enable the provision of a ‘joined up’ service for family historians.
The Heritage Lottery Fund provided £4.3 million towards the Centre and the balance of the £10.5 million project has been met from The Highland Council through the Highland 2007 legacy capital funding programme.
The construction contractors are Morrison Construction with Heery International as the Council’s Project Manager for the development. Design of the new centre is by LDN Architects, based in Forres in partnership with Ove Arup & Partners, AF Cruden Associates, and Torrance Partnership.
Convener of The Highland Council Councillor Sandy Park said: “It is exciting to see the latest progress of the new Highland Archive and Registration Centre which is vital to the development of the Council’s archive service throughout the Highlands. I am looking forward to its completion and opening in the Year of Homecoming.”
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery fund in Scotland said: “This ‘topping out’ marks a milestone in the development of the Highland Archive and Registration Centre. This is a very necessary project if we are to save the fascinating material that exists in the region. Through these records we can actually touch the past while learning, in the words of our ancestors, how the Highlands have changed over hundreds of years. It is certain to become a hub for Scots descendants across the world as they search out their roots.”
Commenting on the progress of the construction work, Donald McLachlan, Operations Director for Morrison Construction, said: “I am delighted to see the shell of the building substantially complete as it gives people a very visible reminder that this exciting project is well-underway.
“People can now appreciate the size of the new centre and this is creating a lot of fresh interest in the project.”