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Work begins on new archive centre

14 January 09 09:00 GMT

Work is due to begin on a multi-million pound state-of-the-art archives centre in Carlisle.

A sod-cutting ceremony will take place on Wednesday to mark the beginning of work on the new records bank at Lady Gillford's House at Petteril Bank.

The £8.2m hi-tech building will showcase the colourful history of the county, dating back to the 12th Century.

Funding has come from the Lottery, grants and Cumbria County Council.

The archives, a collection of more than a million historical items, includes the Royal Charter of the City of Carlisle from 1316 which bears the seal of Edward II.

'Landmark building'

It has been estimated that, if laid end to end, the entire collection would stretch more than three miles.

The new archives centre is planned to open in autumn 2010.

Councillor Stewart Young, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: "As well as creating a new landmark building that everyone in Cumbria can be proud of, this multi-million pound project will also bring vital jobs and investment into Carlisle.

"Lady Gillford's House is one of the most well-known and well-loved buildings in Carlisle and transforming it into Cumbria Archives will restore it so that everyone can have access to it and appreciate its charm."

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