Latest photos from The Hold

Work on The Hold is now mainly focussed on the inside of the building, which is really coming together. We had a sneak preview of the site recently and the look and feel of the building is more and more apparent.

Suffolk Archives Foundation launches ‘Make your Mark’ campaign to support The Hold

To mark the topping out of The Hold Suffolk Archives Foundation is today launching its ‘Make your Mark’ campaign to encourage public support for the project and through this give Suffolk’s colourful past an exciting future.

Funds raised will go towards meeting remaining construction costs at The Hold and the fitting-out of the interior of the building to the high standards that visitors from all walks of life deserve.

“The Make your Mark campaign provides an opportunity for people across the county to get involved in The Hold right from the outset. We really hope anyone with an interest in local history will want to add their names to a specially crafted donors’ book, which will be kept and displayed at The Hold. “This book has been hand made by local company Owl Bookbinding and it will itself become part of Suffolk’s historical archives,” comments Peter Gray, Chair of the Suffolk Archives Foundation.

Those wishing to support the Make your Mark campaign can do so by:

  • becoming a supporter, for £20, which enables them to sign the donors’ book at special signing ceremonies, OR
  • becoming a friend, for £100, which enables them to sign the donors’ book, and also gives them an invitation to the main launch event. In addition they will receive a commemorative brick in recognition of their donation.

    Names of a lucky few supporters and friends will also be chosen at random and appear on a donors’ wall inside The Hold.

    Anyone wishing to sign up for the Make your Mark campaign should visit the Make Your Mark page on this website

First Meeting of Countywide Teachers’ Network

School group

On 27th June, the Chair of the Suffolk Archives Foundation joined the Record Office’s Community and Learning Officers (Mandy and Hannah) to talk to KS3 History Teachers about the immense opportunities The Hold and Suffolk Record Office has to offer students in supporting their learning.

Over the coming months, Mandy and Hannah will be developing teaching resources, visit plans and experiences for teachers and students; we hope teachers will continue to support this work with valued input, review and assessment and participate in what is to become our countywide Teachers’ Network.

We want to ensure that the schools programme for the whole county supports education and curriculum needs, providing children and young people with relevant and creative cultural experiences on varying levels: visits, digital, physical resources and in their community.

In order to keep teachers aware of developments and initiate the Teachers’ Network, Mandy and Hannah will be launching a termly Teachers’ newsletter in the autumn. The Record Office will also host teachers’ networking events which will allow them to learn about opportunities at The Hold and the Record Office’s other branches, and to meet other liked-minded teachers.

If you are a teacher and would like to get in touch with Mandy or Hannah for more information, please email

A snapshot in time

Suffolk Archives Foundation Trustees David and Jane were very pleased to attend the burial of a time capsule in the curtilage of The Hold recently.

The capsule was one of 9 that were buried on February 28th at various locations around the county, to mark not only the building of The Hold but also the 900th anniversary of the oldest treasure in the Suffolk Archives – the Charter of Henry 1st to the monks of Eye.

The capsule locations were:

Bury St Edmunds

Staff from the Record Office worked with a team of Graduates from the Suffolk Graduate Partnership Scheme to engage school pupils and other groups to contribute items, creating a snapshot of Suffolk life in 2019 – to be uncovered again in 2119! Here are a selection of images from each location. More are available on the County Council’s Flickr page here.

Thanks to our supporters who attended ‘Suffolk’s Musical Innovators’!

A huge thank you to everyone who attended ‘Suffolk’s Musical Innovators’ on November 22nd – the first event held in support of the Foundation, and the launch of the fabulous new CD ‘Sounds of Suffolk’ by Eboracum Baroque, which will shortly be available to buy at Suffolk Record Office branches (hear some samples on their website at

Below are some photographs taken at the event – enjoy!

Suffolk’s Musical Innovators

An evening celebrating Suffolk’s rich, musical history from the 18th Century through to the 20th with works by Gibbs, Handel and Britten. This candlelight concert features Eboracum Baroque and the Tower Chamber Choir in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary Le Tower Church, Ipswich.

Please join The Suffolk Archives Foundation for an evening honouring the 18th Century Baroque composer and Suffolk music celebrity Joseph Gibbs. Celebrating the release of their new CD, compositions by Gibbs will be performed by Eboracum Baroque featuring Violinist, Alice Earll. Additionally, learn more about Gibbs the composer and enjoy a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia by the Tower Chamber Choir. There will also be songs and arias performed by the tenor, Jonathan Hanley including works by Handel and Suffolk folk songs. The concert also falls on St Cecilia’s day, the patron saint of music.

This exciting fundraising event is in support of The Hold. Located within Ipswich’s unique and regenerating Waterfront, The Hold will house the bulk of Suffolk’s nationally and internationally significant archives. It will be the engine for a transformed, audience-focused service reaching out to diverse communities in Ipswich, the county and the nation, through its activity and digital programmes, engaging people in new and exciting ways.

20.00 – 21.30

Doors: 7:45pm
Carriages: 9:30pm
Tickets: £15 (under 16s gratis) from
Guest performers: Jonathan Hanley, Alice Earll, and the Tower Chamber Choir
Proceeds to: The Suffolk Archives Foundation

Concert poster

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership awards £250,000 to The Hold

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) have awarded £250,000 towards ‘The Hold: A Suffolk Archives Service for the 21st Century’.

The grant comes from the NALEP’s ‘Growing Places Fund’ which is supporting a number of fantastic heritage projects in the region, including Gainsborough’s House, Norwich Castle and the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.

Learn more about the Growing Places Fund at this page.

National Lottery funding approved for ‘The Hold: a Suffolk archives service for the 21st century’

A National Lottery grant of £10.3m to create a flagship heritage centre for Suffolk and transform people’s access to their archives, is announced today.

The money, awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will see the completion of The Hold beside the Ipswich Waterfront and launch an exciting and people-focused future for Suffolk’s archive service.

More than just a building project, The Hold is about engaging people right across the county and beyond with Suffolk’s archives and heritage. Vital to the project is an exciting programme of events, activities and learning opportunities, which will enable existing and new audiences to explore 900 years of archival material and share Suffolk’s treasured stories.

The Hold will offer a bespoke home for the majority of Suffolk’s unique archival collections, as well as state-of-the-art public facilities and teaching spaces for the University of Suffolk. Some of these unique archives will be put on display in the exhibition area for the first time, making it much easier to view records in the new centre.

The Hold is expected to attract thousands of visitors each year, seeking to research local history, find out about their families, or to take part in events and activities. Even more people will access these stories online and through new digital programmes. The project will also offer school groups and adult learners positive and stimulating learning experiences.

The total cost of the project is expected to be £20m. The county council has pledged £5m for the building and the university, £1m. The project team previously secured development funding of £538,000 from the HLF, bringing the total National Lottery funding to £10.8m and a grant from the prestigious Wolfson Foundation. Further fundraising by charity the ‘Suffolk Archives Foundation’ will also support the project.

Councillor Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Public Health and portfolio holder for Heritage, said: “We are delighted to receive this National Lottery funding and it’s fantastic to see the project we’ve worked so hard for being brought to life.

“The Hold project will enable us to deliver many more archive-related events, learning activities and digital programmes than we can currently offer across the whole county, whilst completely transforming our ability to care for and showcase our county’s records and collections. This means more people will be able to connect with our wonderful collections than ever before.”

Tim Greenacre, Registrar and Secretary at the University of Suffolk said, “The University is delighted to be hosting The Hold, and this award is testament to the hard work of all those involved in developing the project. The Hold will deliver exceptional facilities for all those interested in exploring Suffolk’s heritage, alongside some outstanding new teaching and conference space for the University.”

Andrew Rowe, Managing Director of Concertus, said: “This is going to be a huge benefit to the people of Suffolk and we are delighted to have been involved from the beginning of the project as project managers and technical advisors.”

East Anglia based construction company R G Carter has been confirmed as the building contractor for the project. The company has experience of delivering award winning archive, heritage and educational buildings, as well as working on confined sites in congested locations. Building work will begin this Spring and The Hold is scheduled to open by the end of 2019.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

heritage lottery logo