Comedy legend Lenny Henry officially opened the new £6million archives building in his first role as Freeman of Dudley borough.
The borough-born star unveiled a special plaque at the centre yesterday (Wednesday April 23) in front of invited guests.
The star of stage and screen toured the vast archive materials chronicling the borough’s history, including a small section dedicated to Lenny and his achievements.
It is the first official engagement for former Tiswas presenter who was granted the Freedom of Dudley borough at a civic ceremony in October last year.
Lenny Henry, CBE, said:
“It’s a huge research facility, there is a wonderful adult literacy section, a mobile library, it’s serving the whole community, part of the whole rejuvenation of Dudley which I really applaud.
“What’s brilliant is you have got access to history, you have got everything in here, it has been an extraordinary morning, I have been shown the whole facility and I think anybody who is interested in the history of Dudley or the Black Country in general is going to be blown away by the facilities here.”
The new centre has already received national praise after being singled out by the prestigious National Archives for its first class facilities.
The new centre offers residents state of the art facilities to research local or family history and is filled with intriguing archives and artefacts.
It has since become a landmark on Tipton Road in Dudley, next to the Black Country Living Museum. It is the first public building to be built by the council for twenty years and has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Pictured: Lenny Henry with the plaque he unveiled at Dudley archives. More pictures are available via this link.