The Story so far and next steps
This page gives a behind the scenes look at the development of the project and the next milestones before we open.
The story so far
2015/2016 - we identified that the County Archive was outgrowing its current accommodation and a new home was required. We asked for your views on the new home for the archive and you told us that you wanted a co-located facility, near the city centre, with public transport links, good digital access and modern research facilities, with exhibitions, courses and skills training workshops.
2017 - Mount Oswald was identified as the preferred location after a countywide search.
January 2018 - Cabinet agree to progress the history centre concept at Mount Oswald, co-locating the county archive with other cultural assets subject to public consultation.
December 2018 - first stage of design work complete.
January/February 2018 - more than 600 of you gave your views on the emerging plans for the history centre project, you told us what services and collections we should co-locate with the County Archive including the DLI collection.
January 2019 - Cabinet agree to progress the history centre project.
Summer 2019 - we visited all of the county's Area Action Partnerships and many of you gave your views on the design and your digital expectations for the centre.
December 2019 - we were awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant towards the development of the activity, exhibition and digital programmes and an invitation to submit a round 2 bid.
June 2020 - Wolfson Foundation pledge £150,000 towards the exhibition space.
September 2020 - planning approval received.
October 2020 - you gave your views on your expectations of a visit to the new centre. We're using your feedback to develop the visitor offer.
October 2020 - we were awarded a European Regional Development Fund grant of £1.46 million for low carbon measures at the new history centre.
March 2021 - Kier appointed
March 2021 - we submitted a Round 2 bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for activities, exhibitions and digital transformation for the new history centre
April 2021 - construction started
April 2021 - we were awarded a five year National Lottery Heritage Fund grant towards our activity, exhibition and digital plans
January 2022 - Durham County Record Office closed to in-person visits so the team can focus on packing up the six miles of records ready for the move
May 2022 - launch of new name and brand; The Story at Mount Oswald
Where are we now
- We are in the construction phase.
- We are working with exhibition designers to develop the content and design for the exhibitions and the digital space on the first floor.
- We have started to digitise some of our collections to support our new website, remote access and exhibitions.
- We are planning what the visitor experience will be like at the history centre.
- We are starting to develop new and varied volunteering opportunities to suit different interests.
- Durham County Record Office have started to pack the collection ready for the move.
2021/22 - develop and design exhibition and interpretation content
2022 - complete construction
2022/23 - fit out and collections move
2023 - open to the public
In partnership with
- Image of The Story
- Heritage Fund
- The Wolfson Foundation
- EU Regional Development Fund
- Northern Powerhouse