Archaeology work begins at Worcester Library & History Centre site 30.07.08

Archaeology work begins at Worcester Library & History Centre site 30.07.08

30 July 2008

A special project that will see members of the public being given the chance to roll up their sleeves and help unearth Worcester's past has officially started.



A special project that will see members of the public being given the chance to roll up their sleeves and help unearth Worcester's past has officially started. The ground was broken at the site of the future £60m Worcester Library and History Centre in The Butts this week and members of the public can visit the site from next Monday, (August 4) where they will be able to take part in the archaeological excavation.
The new Centre, due to be complete by 2012 will become the first joint University and Public Library of its kind in the UK and involves the University of Worcester, Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands. The Library will link through to the University’s adjacent £120m second City Centre Campus and create a whole new Learning and Cultural Quarter for Worcester.

A team of archaeologists from the County Council will be leading the free training excavation at the site until Sunday, October 12. Learning how to dig, recording finds and recognising different finds are among the skills people will get the chance to experience during the project, which will run seven days a week for ten weeks. Visitors will also be able to find out what happens to artefacts once they have been unearthed in the finds processing room and take a trip around an exhibition that will focus on the site's Roman and Victorian history.

There will also be opportunities for under 18-year-olds, schools and other groups to visit the site and get involved. Archaeological project director, Simon Woodiwiss from Worcestershire County Council, said: "We're delighted this exciting project has got off the ground and are looking forward to welcoming members of the public to the site next month when they will get the chance to play a hands-on part in the dig. "This is a unique opportunity for the Worcestershire public to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and help uncover Worcester's history, which will include exposing part of the medieval city wall." Places are limited and booking is necessary.

Booking forms are available by calling a member of the Archaeological team on 01905 855455 from 9.30am until 12.30pm, Monday to Friday. People must be over the age of 18 and fit enough not to risk injury when digging.

As well as providing a purpose-built library for Worcester City Centre, the new £60m Centre will also bring together the heritage services of the County Council, with the History Centre and Record Office on one site. Archaeology will also be a key feature of the building, creating a reference centre that is second-to-none, while the Customer Contact Centre, Worcestershire Hub will also be located there.

Funding for the project, has come from a combination of Government Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Advantage West Midlands grants and contributions from the University, Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council. More information about the project can be found at www.wlhc.org.uk

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