Tuesday, 15 July 2008

PRONI on the move

This blog is usually rapier like with the speed in which it reports the genealogy news that matters. Occasionally though, we, err... miss things! The following story announced a few weeks ago completely slipped past our radar, but is of such major significance to those in Scotland with ancestry in Northern Ireland, as indeed to the people in Ulster itself, and beyond, that it is presented here in glorious posterity...!

In an online article dated May 21st 2008, the PRONI website announced that the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland is due to move to an all new purpose built facility in the city's Titanic quarter.

The new office is to be built in the Titanic Quarter of Central Belfast, where a major redevelopment project comprising commercial, tourism, residential, educational and other uses is already underway.

The new building will mean the closure of the current office which is situated in a residential area of South Belfast. Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Edwin Poots MLA said: ‘‘My department has committed £29million to the re-location of PRONI in the hope that everyone from the region and indeed visitors to Northern Ireland can use the resources it holds. Given the choice of location it is very appropriate that many of the records held by PRONI including some on the Titanic will be returning home to where they were originally drawn up and written. It is also important to ensure a good quality building in terms of design and sustainable construction. It is my desire that the new Public Record Office building will be a legacy which current and future generations will both cherish and use.”

Once complete, it will literally be the case that you can hop onto a ferry at Stranraer and end up at Belfast next door to the PRONI, as opposed to having to travel to the other side of the city, as is currently the case. The alternative route is Troon to Larne, and a train to York Street station, again, next door to the docks. In other words, it will become much more practical to be able to do a day trip from Scotland to Ulster to carry out some research at the centre.

Now if they could only restore the Troon to Belfast route...!


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