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Biffa Award Supports Guildford Institute Library and Archive Redevelopment plans

Published on: 15 May, 2013
Updated on: 15 May, 2013

The Guildford Institute is delighted to have been awarded a substantial grant by Biffa Award.

The library at the Guildford Institute.

The library at the Guildford Institute.

The £48,400 grant will enable the institute to create a new staircase connecting its basement archive directly to its library, a new entrance to the building, and to install a dumb-waiter style lift to bring heavy documents from the archive up to the main library.

This is the second phase of a major redevelopment project to make the institute and all that it offers to the local community truly accessible to all.

With its floor-to-ceiling bookcases, which house a fine collection of both historical and modern fiction and non-fiction, the library is a haven of tranquility in the middle of bustling Guildford. It has been in the same room since 1892 and is open Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Since January, while work has been under way to install a lift in the institute’s Grade II listed building, the basement archive has been sealed off, and much of the valuable historic material the institute usually keeps there has been stored off-site.

The Guildford Institute - truly one of the town's treasures.

The Guildford Institute – truly one of the town’s treasures.

The vice-chairman of the board of trustees and chairman of the library advisory group, Barry Sterndale-Bennett, said: “This is fantastic news. Thanks to Biffa Award, we will very soon be able to bring our wonderful collection of local memorabilia back to the institute. In addition, moving the entrance to the building to what is currently the library entrance, means that in future everyone entering the building will see the library – many for the first time!”

Members of the public are welcome to come and see details of the building redesign plans at the Institute which is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm.

For further information contact Trish Noakes, manager, the Guildford Institute, Ward Street, Guildford GU1 4LH. Tel: 01483 562142, or email

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Responses to Biffa Award Supports Guildford Institute Library and Archive Redevelopment plans

  1. Gill Perkins Reply

    May 16, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Great news!

    The institute is an important building, its collections are fantastic and it’s a great hub for people who want to meet, learn and create.

    Really looking forward to seeing what it’s like when all the work is done!

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