Freshwater Parish Council (FPC) are pleased to announce that they have taken on a lease for a shop in Avenue Road, Freshwater.
The premises are to enable the Freshwater and Totland Archive group to have a proper base for the documents, pictures, books, and other artefacts that they have acquired over the years.
For several years, the group has been operating over various storerooms, filing cabinets and volunteers’ homes. During that time there has been a growing interest from around the world from people wanting to find out about ancestors and the wider heritage of West Wight.
This centre will enable them to make the information more accessible to both residents and visitors and be better protected, they will also be able to create an online digital archive.
Anne Bamford Chairman Freshwater Parish Council said: “As Chairman of FPC I am delighted that we have been able to support Linda Barnes and her group to be able to start a Community Heritage Centre in West Wight, based in the heart of our village. I wish both her and all her members well with this project”
Linda Barnes, who leads the group said: “Freshwater and Totland Archive Group are delighted and excited in reaching one of their long-term goals. We have worked for many years with a wonderful selection of archive material, and we have a lot!! To be able to share our archives with the community in a hub that is central and with easy access has surpassed our expectation. It would not have happened if we did not have total support and understanding from Freshwater Parish Council. So, when we are open please come and visit us, we would love to see you.”
Councillor Adrian Harris, Project leader said: “There is a wealth of heritage within the West Wight which we now believe can be brought out for the wider world to see. Over the next few years and with the Archive Group and FPC working together with other groups within the area could make this a key location for information about our History”