Borough's new archive in transformed town hall open to public
The state-of-the-art facilities have been officially unveiled.
Residents were invited to come through the doors of Leigh Town Hall and get their first look at the historic building, which has been given a comprehensive transformation.
The grade II listed building now gives public access to more than 800 years of records and a new exhibition celebrating Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley using the archives’ collection.
The work has been done thanks to a £1.3m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Wigan Council is delighted with the result.
Leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Seeing the archives and the money that has been spent in terms of how we have preserved over 800 years of history is absolutely brilliant.
“I’m sure the people of Leigh and the borough will fully appreciate the work that has been going on here and the exhibitions that we have put on display.”
Lead officer for archives and local studies Alex Miller said: “Wherever people are from we want them to come and visit us here at the archives, explore their history and heritage, see what they can find out and delve into all the treasures and stories that we have to tell.”
A group of quilters from the University of the Third Age (U3A) were also invited to the town hall for the reopening ceremony on Thursday morning.
The archives preserve the history of the borough’s schools, churches, hospitals, businesses, families and estates.
The new facilities include a new search room with improved access to collections, a conservation studio for repairing and digitising archives and state-of-the-art strongrooms for storing and preserving the borough’s historic records.
Members of the public will be able to use these records to trace their family histories, explore how past communities lived and learn how the borough has grown over centuries.
There is also an education space where schools will take part in activities.
Meanwhile, the new exhibition will also host a programme of events.
Anyone wanting to visit the archives currently needs to book.
Find out how to get in touch through the Wigan Council website.
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