Opening hours at Derbyshire Record Office to be cut

Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock.
Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock.

Opening hours are to be reduced at Derbyshire Record Office, councillors have agreed.

The decision, to reduce the opening hours of the Matlock office from 41 to 30 hours a week, was made at a meeting of Derbyshire County Council's Cabinet today (Tuesday), following a public consultation.

During the consultation, which took place last autumn, people were asked to consider three options for cutting opening hours in order to save the council up to £125,000. Similar reductions across many council services are being made because funding given to the council by central government is being cut.

Derbyshire Record Office is currently open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm and every Saturday from 9.30pm to 1pm. Three options were proposed, in which the record office would close on either Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays. Most respondents preferred a Monday closure.

Each option offered the last Saturday in each month open from 9.30am to 1pm. Some respondents expressed concern about reduced access on Saturdays. With that in mind, the record office will now open on the last Saturday in each month from 9.30am to 4pm, instead of 1pm.

To mitigate the changes it is also increasing the number of records available online for people who can’t visit in person.

The regulatory body for archive services, The National Archives, was consulted and acknowledged the changes were well-planned and based on evidence and consultation.

The changes will begin on June 1.

Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for Health and Communities, Councillor Dave Allen, said: “The shortfall in our budget, caused by the scale of Government cuts, means we have no choice but to reduce spending in some areas. We do all we can do protect services in the best way possible by consulting with the people who use those services.”