Wigan Council’s state-of-the-art archive facilities will be unveiled to the public in June at the newly renovated Grade II listed Leigh Town Hall.

Members of the public will soon be invited to book a visit to the archives which open on June 24 thanks to a £1.3m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Visitors will get their first glimpse of the renovated grade II listed Leigh Town Hall, as well as access to historical records dating back more than 800 years.

They will also be able to book a visit to a brand-new exhibition which celebrates the history of Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley through the amazing collection of the Borough’s historic archives.

This new family attraction will also host a programme of activities for everyone, so keep an eye on social media for more details coming soon.

The new facilities, made possible with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, preserve the history of the Borough’s schools, churches, hospitals, businesses, families and estates.

They 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 about how our Borough has grown over centuries.

The new archives also features an education space adjacent to the Chambers where schools will participate in an exciting new programme of activity. Schools are encouraged to get in touch if they’d like to find out more.

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to announce the opening of these amazing facilities to the public.

“With the new search room and state-of-the-art conservation and storage facilities, residents and non-residents alike will be able to learn all about Wigan’s heritage and culture, and even find out more about their family tree.

“I would urge all residents to book a visit and take a look at this wonderful facility and the thousands of records contained within.”

The archives will be officially opened by the mayor on June 24 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Initially visits to the archives will need to be booked through an online system or by phone. Details of how to book will be announced in the coming weeks.

David Renwick, Director, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is fantastic news that thanks to the National Lottery players, we have been able to support Wigan Council to ensure that these important archives are preserved for years to come, meaning that local communities and visitors can learn more about Wigan’s rich heritage.

“We know that heritage in the North can play a huge role in bringing people together and creating a sense of pride in people’s hometowns and cities, and in turn boosting the local economy, and this work is a fantastic example of that.”


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