The Archway Project, which includes a new learning centre for The Roman Baths and a World Heritage Centre in 10 York Street, has been granted full planning permission and listed building consent.
The learning centre in Swallow Street will be a fully accessible state-of-the-art building where school children will participate in hands-on sessions with Roman artefacts and where projects and activities will be run for members of the local community.
It will also feature an underground tunnel to The Roman Baths and an “investigation zone” set amongst Roman remains where school children will be able to explore and record archaeological materials. Additionally, there will be an excavation area where they can unearth replica Roman objects.
Bath and North East Somerset Council claim that the World Heritage Centre in nearby York Street will contain “imaginative displays” that explain why the World Heritage Site of Bath is “so special” and will encourage people to explore the heritage around the city.
Apparently, the free-admission attraction will be the first centre in Bath to showcase the city’s standing as a World Heritage Site.
The project will also open up areas of Roman remains that have never before been given regular public access, including a laconicum (sauna) and exercise courtyard.
Patrick Anketell-Jones, cabinet member for economic development at Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “The project will transform learning at The Roman Baths and create a world-class visitor centre where people can find out more about our World Heritage City, as well as opening up new parts of the Roman Baths for public access.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that The Roman Baths had secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of nearly £3.5m towards the £5m project.
If the £5m target is reached, building work will start in summer 2017 and both centres will open in early 2019.
For more information about the Archway Project visit www.romanbaths.co.uk/archway-project.