"Preserving the past for the future"
Patrons: Lord Rootes, T. D. Rootes and W. B. Rootes
Registered Charity - no. 1108882
New Devonshire House, Banbury
16th April 2020
Rootes Archive Centre,
Units G151-7, Cherwell Business Village,
Southam Road, Banbury,
Oxon OX16 2SP, UK
The Archive Centre is moving! After a careful review of all our options the Trustees have decided that the future of the Archive Centre can best be secured by relocating to new premises at Banbury. It's a major undertaking but we plan to be up and running again by July. So come along to our Re-Opening Day on Sunday 4 July and inspect our new facilities!
We realise this news may come as a surprise to our supporters; in fact, we have been working on it for several months now but needed to keep it "under wraps" until negotiations were complete, which happened just last week. The spur to this was the upcoming expiry of our current lease at the end of May, which prompted what business speak calls a "fundamental strategic review" - as Trustees we needed to look hard at all the pros and cons, costs and risks of staying put vs moving to another location. Although it's a big decision, we are confident it's the right one.
Our first five years at Westcott have seen us successfully establish the Trust as an organisation with a long term future; and allowed us to develop our own sources of funding to match the amounts the clubs put in through ARCC. We've proved that our original vision and aims, which ARCC clubs endorsed and have supported, to safeguard the archives, make them available and put them to practical use, are viable and durable. So we won't be changing the vision or what we do, just trying to do more of it in future.
But, as visitors over the last year or two will have realised, we had increasingly outgrown our accommodation at Westcott and the facilities available there have struggled to cope when we hold large events. With the end of our fixed term lease, we weren't able (although we tried) to negotiate a renewal on sufficiently competitive terms - our rent at Westcott had we stayed would have increased each year from now on, while there's no guarantee we can keep growing our income to match, particularly over the next few years. Just as importantly, there was no realistic prospect of expanding our space there given the nature of the buildings.
The new premises we've found, which are part of the Cherwell Business Village on the northern edge of Banbury, will provide us with more usable space, a more flexible layout, vital additional storage facilities and room to expand further in future if we wish. Importantly, the new premises will also be cheaper to operate than Westcott has been, which will help relieve the pressure on our finances; and permanent heating and better facilities come as part and parcel of the deal! The building is opposite the old Alcan factory which started with wartime production of aluminium for aircraft production; it was originally the admin and research block. So it's a larger building and there are several other tenants; but we will have our own entrance and be able to stamp our identity on it in much the same way as we were able to do at Westcott. There is plenty of parking, plus space for holding outside events, and the location means it is very easily accessible (with all the shopping and other attractions of Banbury close by). Directions on how to find us are now on our Web site.
Overall, moving to Banbury gives us more for less - a win-win basis for the long term viability of the Archive Centre, and a step the Trustees feel very confident in taking given our success over the last five years.
To see how we've been getting on see pictures of moving into Banbury.