Barnstaple Town Council and local groups come together to discuss a way forwards

Barnstaple Town Council has hailed progress towards a deal which would save North Devon Records Office from closure.

The principles of a deal, based on funding from local groups and grants, were agreed at a meeting between town and county councillors and other local organisations on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Devon County Council, which is responsible for heritage services, warned that the current funding for the records office, housed within Barnstaple Library, was only guaranteed until October.

DCC had previously planned to move records to Exeter.

Following constructive discussions, the county council and the South West Heritage Trust, which runs the records office under contract, have agreed an outline agreement to continue funding it in the short term, providing breathing space for the town council, North Devon Athenaeum and other local organisations to develop a long-term plan to retain the facility.

The discussions followed a strong motion passed by town councillors in June, giving their support for the ‘Save North Devon Records Office’ campaign and petition.

Town mayor Cllr Val Elkins said: “As we have already shown with highway grass cutting, the town council is a strong voice for the community and while we understand the financial pressures facing the county council, we can work with them to protect important local services.”