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Sunday 27th July 2014

SWFTA Re-Opens After a Brief Intermission

The UK’s largest regional collection of film and television footage is nice and snug in its new home in the very centre of Plymouth after a six week move.

Over 20,000 reels of film and hundreds of film-making artefacts have been lovingly and painstakingly wrapped and moved as part of South West Film and Television Archive’s (SWFTA) move to new premises on Catherine Street in Plymouth’s city centre (directly behind the Treasury building).

Now all the millions of hours of footage capturing historic moments over the years throughout the South West are in place, the Archive is open for business as usual from today, Monday 28 July.

The move was made possible with support and funding by Plymouth City Council, after the Archive has spent almost 15 years in the Melville Building at the Royal William Yard and is a major milestone in the development of the Plymouth History Centre project.

Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “We’re thrilled SWFTA are safely in their new home and the move went as smoothly as it could have, given the enormous amount of very precious materials that had to be relocated. SWFTA are an absolutely crucial partner in the developing History Centre project and their collection is priceless in terms of the local and regional history it captures. SWFTA’s new location will attract more people to our city centre which we hope will also benefit the surrounding businesses.”

The building on Catherine Street is owned by the Council and has undergone a major refurbishment to make it a suitable home for SWFTA for the next five years whilst the Plymouth History Centre is developed. This comes following a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund which recently resulted in £12.8M of funding being awarded to the city.

David Beadel, Chairman of SWFTA, said: “I am extremely grateful to the SWFTA team and Council officers for their cooperation in successfully implementing the carefully planned transfer of the film collections to SWFTA’s new home in Catherine Street. Their dedication and hard work has minimised disruption to the on-going project work of the archive and its engagement with the public and heritage and cultural communities. The move is a major step towards a permanent home for the archive as part of the Plymouth History Centre which is due to open in 2019.”

The relocation of such a large collection of highly sensitive materials took six weeks from Wednesday 11 June until Monday 28 July 2014.

For more information about the Plymouth History Centre project visit the Love Our Past website.

Watch this space for a special section of the website with more details about our relocation project - coming soon!