Serious concerns surrounding the closure of an archive office in a west Suffolk town remain after it was announced it would close at the end of August. 

Communities had fought to save the record offices in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft after the announcement by Suffolk County Council in February that the records were to move to The Hold in Ipswich.

The archive offices in Bury's Raingate Street and Lowestoft's Clapham Road South will close at the end of August, Suffolk Archives has confirmed. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Demonstrations were held outside the record officeDemonstrations were held outside the record office (Image: Bury St Edmunds Society CIO)

Part of The Hold will close to the public from October until January 2025 while "substantial" work to move the records is carried out. 

A statement from Suffolk Archives said: "The decant and transfer of archives and local studies material to The Hold, and the associated work to reorganise the Ipswich strong rooms will be a substantial undertaking.

"To facilitate this work, the archives and the John Blatchly Local Studies Library areas at The Hold will close to the public for three months from the beginning of October 2024. 

East Anglian Daily Times: All records will be moved to The HoldAll records will be moved to The Hold (Image: Newsquest)

"We appreciate that this will temporarily impact access to the archives, but complete closure is the safest and most efficient way to ensure a smooth move."

However, concerns remain regarding the office closures.

Jon Popham, chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Town Trust, said: "We knew this was going to happen because the council had resolved to do it. 

"The timing is of their choice and we remain seriously concerned about the fact that adequate provision has not been made for people in west Suffolk.

"My understanding is if you live in somewhere like Haverhill you can't get to The Hold and back in a day."

East Anglian Daily Times: Serious concerns have been raised regarding the closureSerious concerns have been raised regarding the closure (Image: Bury St Edmunds Society CIO)

He added Bury St Edmunds' historical importance means that people should not have to be sent to Ipswich to look at the archives. 

"If you live in York, you don't have to go to Hull to look at the archives. That is the parallel in the north of England," Mr Popham continued.

"But Bury St Edmunds is outstandingly important and frankly this is a very grave matter."

Speaking in January, resident Simon Harding criticised the move, stating it would cause issues for the disabled community.

He said: "I use a mobility scooter, which would render me unable to visit the proposed facility in Ipswich without incurring an unacceptable level of expense. 

"Public transport is inadequate, time-consuming and could not meet my needs. I suspect I am not alone.

"For Suffolk County Council to even consider closing the Bury office, happy to push the disabled aside, would show appalling ignorance and lack of compassion."

This news comes six years after Suffolk County Council announced the closure of Lowestoft Record Office and campaign group Save Our Record Office was formed.