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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  We are interested in getting a quote for use of your storage facility at UH.  How much does it cost and what do we do?

1.1  We can advise you on the likely rental cost for use of the storage facility, but first we need to run through some detailed information with you to arrive at accurate costings.  Some of this is covered in the questions below but the first thing we will need to understand is such things as the nature of the collection, how it is currently stored, where you are located and importantly how many cubic metres of space it takes up.  There is a standard unit price for rental per cubic metre per annum, regardless of how much material you want to store or how long.

1.2  In order to understand your needs and to guide you, we will need to visit you to see the collection in situ.  The cost of this will be covered under the Storage Scheme membership level once you join.  We can advise on conservation issues and packaging for storage and where to go to get advice on transport (the 'up-lift'), including from our own removals service.  If you would like to visit Heyford and see the storage scheme, we can arrange this for you and would advise it for all customers.  We will need to see that the collections do not have mould, damp or pest issues, in order that contaminated material doesn't go into the store, so at the visit we can discuss this with you and if necessary provide monitoring ahead of the up-lift.

1.3  If your institution is not already a Full Member of NCS, at the time that you decide to join the scheme, you will need to sign up for NCS membership.  If you have access to an Accredited Conservator who can produce a summary report confirming that the collection to be stored is free of damp, mould and pests and is adequately packaged, you can join at Supporting member level at £64 + VAT p.a.  If you are already a Full member we will make a due dilligence visit, and also advise on packaging etc., within your existing membership.  If you do not have Accredited Conservator access and are not already a Full member, you will need to join at Introductory Level in the first year, reverting to Supporting Level in the following years as a minimum (or upgrading to Full Level if you would find this helpful).  You will need to maintain membership each year while your collections are stored with us at Upper Heyford.  The Introductory first year membership costs £350 + VAT.

If your collection is affected by damp, mould or pests we will need to arrange for quarantine, drying and/or freezing.  This additional service will be charged for and costs will depend on the collection's needs.

2.  How do I calculate how much space in cubic metres my collection will take up in the store?  

2.1  It will be your responsibility to provide this information to us if you would like a formal quotation for storage.  If you don’t know the answer yourself, one approach is to speak to a removal firm(s) to obtain a quote for the transport of the collection and ask them to provide their estimate of the volume in cubic metres of the collection.  As a very rough guide to estimate the approximate amount of cubic metres taken up for routine storage of items:

               9.5m shelved books = approx. 1 cubic metre

               6.5m shelved standard archive boxes = approx. 1 cubic metre

2.2  If you have standard library/archive collections, it is safe to assume, for budgeting purposes, that the amount of space that will be taken up at the Heyford store (and therefore the basis for rental cost) may be c.+/- 5% of your initial calculation at its current location.  If you have larger objects and art works etc you should assume c.10% variation.

3.  We need help with packaging our collection for transport/storage, will you help us with this?

3.1  We can advise you at our visit on the most appropriate way to approach this and the best materials, but you will need to speak to a removal firm or art handling company to obtain quotations for advice and assistance on packaging for safe transit.  You can ask for a site visit by our removals partner Jamie Briggs Ltd to advise and quote.  If you have your own resources to do the packing and supply the packing/storage materials, this will make the process easier and may be cheaper.  If you need a conservator to help with getting this done, and/or with cleaning collections before packing, NCS can provide you with a team at an affordable day rate and you will need to provide the packaging materials.  Removals/art handling companies will give you a quote to pack up and crate items for transport if you ask them to include this in their price.

4.  I understand I need to obtain the volume to be stored in cubic metres to get an accurate quote for the rental, are there any other costs I need to be aware of?

4.1  There are 3 basic elements to the cost of the storage service:

  • NCS Storage Scheme membership - see 1.3 above and see our Membership rates page  
  • Rental costs January 2023 – £134.10 + VAT p.a. per cubic metre for boxed archives and books and small objects and £145.09 + VAt for larger museum objects.  These charges include £7.50 per cubic metre for NCS monitoring costs.
  • Bar coding – once packaged, a barcode will need to be applied to each package to allow retrieval using Restore’s tracking system.  Restore charges per barcode and a sum for ingest administration.  Check with Restore what their current charges are.
  • Restore also charge £25 + VAT per month as a general administration fee (so £300 + VAT p.a.).  This means that those with small quantities are now paying in total more per year per cubic metre stored than those with larger quanties.

4.2  In addition you will need to budget for the cost of the removals to the store and the cost of boxes/crates.

5.  How easy is it to retrieve items once they are in storage at UH and what are the costs of this?

5.1  The bar code system makes it easy for Restore to identify where in the store an item is, and it allows you to call up a box or item by accessing their online system with your own password.  Retrieval can either be down to a specific item inside a box or to a specific box (cheaper).  Costs of transport vary depending on urgency, distance, frequency and quantity etc.  Courier costs will apply to urgent requests, but there are regular shared vans to London providing a lower cost option.  Indicative retrieval costs are attached to the draft contract provided by Restore and further guidance can be sought from staff at Heyford.

6.  Who will the storage contract be entered into with?

6.1  The storage rental contract will be with Restore Group Plc.  NCS has a separate contract with Restore to direct the specification of storage buildings and services and to monitor these to ensure that the environment and other factors are maintained within EN 16893:2018 and BS 4971:2017.  NCS acts on your behalf to help ensure that your collections are well protected and if we are unhappy with Restore's service we are empowered to instruct you to stop paying the rent until fixed.

7.  If we need to work with an object at UH, is it possible to do this in the store?

7.1  Personnel accessing the store itself have to be accompanied by a member of Restore staff at all times, so this is could become an expensive option and not encouraged in normal circumstances.  However, office and workshop  spaces next to the storage shelter are available for rent and objects can be retrieved and delivered to this area to allow clients to work with anything being stored.  For information about daily or other period charging for rented space and about retrieving from the shelter and returns, please enquire with Restore.

For more information contact: enquiries@ncs.org.uk.