Suffolk County Council received over 500 responses to a recent consultation to improve Suffolk Records Office opening hours.
The consultation which took place during March 2013, allowed members of the public to share their views on proposals which detailed the benefit in reducing weekday opening hours, improving the service on a Saturday and developing a key online presence.
66% of those who responded felt the proposals would bring a positive improvement to the service.
There was a majority of support for closing the office one day a week to allow improvements to the online accessibility of information and digitised materials. This would allow Suffolk County Council to focus on modernising the service, enabling many more people to make use of and enjoy the collections.
Those responding also showed great support for an improved Saturday service and later opening times, although some felt not opening until 10am was too late, the county council listened to this, and will therefore be looking to implement opening each record office branch for 35 hours a week from 9.30am - 4.30pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for localities and environment, said: “I am delighted with the quality and quantity of responses received during this consultation exercise, the sheer level of feedback demonstrated the interest of users, archive owners, partners and stakeholders.
“Suffolk County Council is committed to providing easy to access information for all those reaching out for it and I’m certain the new services will provide this.
“Suffolk Records Office will become the physical and virtual heart of Suffolk’s past, present and future archives supporting all those interested in the county’s history in their journeys of discovery.”