The NCS Collaborative Storage Scheme is a unique and innovative service aimed at supporting heritage organisations to have sustainable and very high, conservation quality storage space at a low cost, monitored and supported by qualified and Accredited conservators. Following a detailed and lengthy consultation and competition, supported by over 50 archives, libraries and museums, a provider (Restore, the largest UK-owned storage business) was selected who could meet the strict criteria set by the consultative group. Since that time, the NCS involvement has evolved and we now monitor the qualities of this storage service and will do so for other storage providers. News on this will be posted as it emerges.
A fixed rate for storage rental per cubic metre per annum at the highest conservation standards has been agreed with Restore, regardless of quantity or length of term required, with environmental, security, fire and flood protection and building qualities that meet EN 16893:2018 and BS 4971:2017, and unparalleled flexible contract terms. However, from 2023, Restore has added an annual cost (paid monthly) of £300 + VAT regardless of the quantity or term, in addition to the fixed annual rental cost. This means that those with small quanitities are being charged more per annum per cubic metre than those with larger quantities.
The site re-uses massive, bomb-proof, thermally stable historic structures with very low energy needs. A retrieval service is available to meet institutions' needs, along with state-of-the art location control and online institutional access for tracking and requesting material. The National Archives has approved the NCS/Restore stores as suitable for Places of Deposit to store Public Records off-site. The stores have been assessed and received recognition by the National Security Adviser as meeting the requirements that would be nececessary for storage of items covered by the Government Indemnity Scheme, for example if en route to an exhibition.
NCS acts for the heritage organisation, monitoring the quality of conditions at the store and advising institutions on their collections needs before moving to the site. We operate a conservation and digitisation studio at the site, along with rooms for archivists, curators, and librarians to come to the site to work on their collections when they need this. Storage Scheme membership also provides all the other standard benefits of NCS membership.
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