St Austell boosted by records office decision
There was cheer in St Austell this week after Cornwall councillors went against expert opinion and voted overwhelmingly in favour of placing a new archive and records centre in the town.
There had been fears that the town could miss out after officers at County Hall recommended that the new £11.5 million centre should be built in Redruth, but councillors disagreed and voted 11-1 in favour of St Austell.
Under the plans the archive centre would be built on the current short stay car park next to Carlyon House in the town. Council officers said that if the new centre was placed in Redruth it could provide an additional £8 million boost for the town. But councillors were concerned that the site was in a flood plain and would require additional funding which was not guaranteed.
Instead they argued that St Austell was the best location stating that a working group set up to look at the project had identified the town as the preferred site and that the site was a short walk from the town's train and bus station giving easy access to people from across Cornwall – a key requirement for the new centre.
The location choice will have to be decided by the council's cabinet next week before a bid is submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the main part of funding for the project at the end of November. If successful the new centre could be built and open by 2015.