A project to create a new World Heritage Centre and learning centre in Bath has been awarded a slice of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Funding announced earlier this month.
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Archway Project, delayed due to the Covid pandemic, has received a Capital Kickstart Fund award of £359,600 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The ‘Capital Kickstart Fund’ helps heritage projects to restart planned work that currently face delays or increased costs.
The Archway Project will convert former Victorian spa buildings close to the Roman Baths into a new World Heritage Centre, acting as a hub where residents and visitors will be able to discover more about the World Heritage Site of Bath. It will become a starting point for visitors to explore the city’s history and heritage before heading into Bath to discover the historical sites.
A new Roman Baths Clore Learning Centre is also part of the project and will create a much-needed space for school groups. Two purpose-built classrooms and a new Investigation Zone will allow children to learn more about the stories and archaeology of Roman Baths, while surrounded by Roman remains.
The project will also open up Roman remains at the Baths which have never been available to the public before.
Councillor Paul Crossley, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said, “It’s fantastic news for Bath that this new funding has been awarded to kickstart the development of the Archway Project. The new learning centre and heritage centre are going to inspire residents, visitors and school children to learn more about our amazing city and its history. The project is an exciting focus as our area recovers from the impact of the pandemic and we look forward to the time when we can once again safely welcome visitors to our World Heritage Site.”
The Archway Project is now planned to open later in 2021.
The Capital Kickstart Fund builds on over £1 billion awarded to a huge range of cultural and heritage organisations from the Culture Recovery Fund last year. This funding announcement is for ambitious projects at 22 heritage organisations, also including Cleveland Pools and Bath Abbey, which will benefit from £13.5 million in targeted grants allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restart planned work that now face delays or increased costs.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added, “From restoring Georgian lidos and Roman baths to saving local screens and synagogues, our Culture Recovery Fund is helping to save the places people can’t wait to get back to, when it is safe to do so.
“All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, whilst safeguarding the livelihoods of the people that work in them.”
Pictured above: An artists impression of the Archway Project