On 1st April 2020, despite the fact that we were in national lockdown due to the Coronavirus Emergency, Flintshire Record Office and Denbighshire Archives Service were working behind the scenes to become a joint service. We are now called North East Wales Archives – or NEWA for short – representing a new joint service for the counties of and Flintshire and Denbighshire.

The creation of NEWA will produce a stronger, more resilient and sustainable archive service for the region. It provides opportunities for the joint service to diversify its visitor base, increase its volunteer numbers, increase its digitalisation activities and outreach activity and in doing so, future proofing the service; ensuring that it remains relevant both now and in the future. The combined service will continue to operate across the two offices – Ruthin and Hawarden but the long-term plan is to move the joint service into a new purpose built, environmentally friendly building in Mold, adjacent to Theatr Clwyd.

The new building and activity plan is reliant on NEWA being successful with obtaining a National Lottery Heritage fund (NLHF) grant. We should hear whether we have been successful in obtaining the funds during mid-2021. Should we be awarded the grant, we hope to move into the new archive centre during 2025.

Since the creation of the new Joint Service, we have re-branded our Facebook pages as North East Wales Archives. This page highlights what the service is doing, promotes our collections and services, and will keep you entertained with stories and images from the Archives. We have also created a new Twitter account to keep you abreast of news and events; and an Instagram page to highlight some of the wonderful images contained within our collections.

We hope you will follow and share our posts, and enjoy the wealth of information we will be sharing with you. So please follow us on:

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/NorthEastWalesArchives/

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/northeastwalesarchives

or Twitter  https://twitter.com/NEWalesArchives

Although both offices have been closed to the public since March we have been running a limited research and copying service to enable customers to have access to some of our collections, and to be able to carry on researching their family history, house history and other research projects on a remote basis. We plan to begin to bring searchers back in during September when we re-open with new measures in place to safeguard customers and staff.

You can read more about what we have all been working on since March in the first issue of our Joint Service Newsletter: NEWA Joint Newsletter

Stephanie Hines, Archivist
North East Wales Archives (Hawarden)

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