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Heather Forbes writes

Dear Friend,

‘For the Record’ project

I’m delighted to let Friends know that Gloucestershire Archives has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for our ‘For the Record’ project. Development funding of £123,300 has been awarded to help us progress plans to apply for the full grant next year. The project will improve the way the documented heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire is gathered, kept and shared. Councillor Ray Theodoulou, Deputy Leader at Gloucestershire County Council said, "We're delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. This will enable us to take forward our plans for new strongrooms to house our historic county's unique and irreplaceable records. We're also keen to encourage volunteers and community groups to work alongside us to preserve and make accessible Gloucestershire's archives for future generations."

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: "Saving our historic archives is really important as they provide such a valuable resource for anyone wanting to explore their past. Gloucestershire's archives are bursting with stories and pictures that give us clues about what life was like and how that has shaped the area as we know it today. This initial support is a great first step in opening up these historic records for everyone to enjoy."

I would particularly like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported the sponsored marathon that David Smith and I completed in baking hot conditions on Sunday 22nd June. Over 230 individuals and groups supported this event, raising a total of over £5000. This provided additional evidence to our potential Lottery funders of community support for our project.

So now the hard work begins. A FOGA fund-raising sub-committee (comprising committee members Clive Andrews, James Hodsdon, Stephen Haygarth and Heather Forbes) has been set up to approach trusts and foundations to help fill the remaining funding gap for the project. If Friends have suggestions of potential funders please let one of the sub-committee know.

Stephen Haygarth will be representing FOGA members on the Project Advisory Board alongside representatives from Gloucestershire Family History Society, Gloucestershire Constabulary, Gloucestershire Local History Association, and South Gloucestershire Council. The Board will make sure the views of partners are fully represented as the more detailed plans for the building and the associated activities are developed. There will also be opportunities for Friends to comment on proposals next year once we have further news to share. In the meantime you can find out more about the project here. We’re very keen that Friends share in the journey with us and help shape a sustainable future for all those who care about, and benefit from, archives.

Heather Forbes, County & Diocesan Archivist

Last edited: 16th November 2014