The Archive Service has been working with Leeds City Council to provide improved accommodation for and access to the irreplaceable archive collections relating to Leeds District. We have explored several options for potential sites and partnerships and have costed remedial work to the Art Deco Sheepscar building. The Sheepscar building has a number of problems related to its age and construction and the National Archives has declared it no longer fit for purpose. Having explored a range of other options, none of which proved to be workable or affordable, we have now received approval from the Executive Board of Leeds CC to move out of the Sheepscar building and convert space for storage and public access at the Joint Services HQ complex at Gildersome. This option provides the best storage and access we can achieve at a reasonable cost in the immediate future. It also means that the collections currently held at Sheepscar will be located at the same site as those Leeds collections currently housed in our modern outstore at Joint Services HQ. For the first time, nearly two-thirds of Leeds archives will be accommodated on the same site.
This project will provide:
* Much improved storage conditions for collections, ensuring their preservation
* Much improved security for collections, staff and customers
* Fully-accessible, modern, customer accommodation
* Free customer parking
I am pleased to be able to assure you that, in spite of the problems the building gives us, no collections have been damaged. The staff and Conservation Team continue their vigilance and interventions and will ensure that archives remain safe until we can effect the move.
Head of Archives