Consultation on Record Office hours proposals

People are being encouraged to give their views on proposals to change the opening hours at Derbyshire Record Office.

The Derbyshire County Council-run Record Office is home to thousands of archives dating back 900 years, and is used by dozens of people every week, from students researching papers to people piecing together their family trees.

A proposal to review opening hours and staffing levels at the Derbyshire Record Office (DRO) was agreed by the council’s Cabinet in September, as part of its Five Year Financial Plan.

The Five Year Financial Plan details savings of £63m that the council needs to achieve over the next five years, and reviewing the opening hours and staffing levels at the DRO could save £60,000.

A six-week consultation has now been launched so that people can have their say on the proposals to reduce opening hours.

Cllr Barry Lewis, DCC Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, said: "The Derbyshire Record Office is a valued resource and we acknowledge the importance and value of the service it provides.

"However, in line with our review of services across the council and the savings we must still make, we are having to make some difficult decisions and make changes where necessary.

"The changes we are looking to make at the Record Office will ensure it is open when most people want to use it and ensure it is sustainable for the future." 

Councillor Lewis added: "Many of the Record Office’s resources are available online through partnerships with other sites and thanks to advances in technology and increasing use of online digitisation, more and more of our county’s precious archives will be available online in the future.

"This is something we are committed to at the council and we believe this online presence will help to minimise the effects of any changes to opening hours. That said, we will always value being able to connect with history in a personal way." 

The Record Office, on New Street in Matlock, is currently open for four days a week for a total of 30 hours and it opens on one Saturday a month.

The consultation gives people the opportunity to have their say on the proposals which will reduce the opening hours to 22.5 hours per week. The current Saturday opening pattern will remain unchanged.

Four alternative proposals are being put forward, based on the current levels of use, and people can have their say either by filling in the questionnaire online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk//RecordOfficeConsultation or via a paper copy, available at the Record Office or by request.

The consultation closes on Sunday 22 December. To request a paper copy, people can email alison.bailey@derbyshire.gov.uk.

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