Another ‘Illuminate’ event secured for Bath

Another ‘Illuminate’ event secured for Bath

Final Logo Digital 2015The highly popular ‘Illuminate Bath’ event has been confirmed to return to the city next month following funding from a number of significant investors.

This contemporary art event featuring light installations and large-scale projections on some of Bath’s most iconic buildings has received over £80,000 in funding.

Illuminate 2015 will take place from 3 to 10 January 2015 and is in partnership with Arts Council England, and Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The event has been sponsored by The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and the Creative Sparks programme is sponsored by Nicolas Pearson Associates.

The last Illuminate event attracted over 45,000 visitors to Bath, both local people and international tourists. The 2015 event promises to be bigger, better and include the works of a number of internationally acclaimed artists.

Image from previous Illuminate event in Bath

Image from previous Illuminate event in Bath

Senior Lecturer in Interactive Art and Design at Bath Spa University and Creative Director of Illuminate 2015 Anthony Head said: “It’s amazing to have the funding to create our most ambitious festival ever, and we’re very grateful to our funders and sponsors. As a result, Illuminate 2015 will be twice as long with double the number projects and take place across a wider area of Bath than the 2012 event.

“Illuminate 2015 is intended to demonstrate participatory and engaging public art, suitable for people of all ages. By including the work of international artists as well as graduates and students of Bath Spa University we are able to turn the streets of the centre of Bath, from the Holburne Museum to the Roman Baths, into a contemporary art venue, raising aspirations for our students and providing a free cultural event for the public.”

Image from previous Illuminate even in Bath

Image from previous Illuminate event in Bath

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, added: “This project is an outstanding example of how public art can capture the imagination and engage a whole community. Our ambition is to support great art and culture for everyone and Illuminate 2015 gives regional and international artists a truly unique platform to intrigue and enthrall huge audiences, especially young people and their families. We are delighted to have been able to support it through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme.”

Any businesses or individuals who would like to support this event can find out more contacting Bath Spa University Head of Development & Campaigns, Marnie Whiting at or by calling 01225 876100.

New register office for Keynsham.

New register office for Keynsham.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has opened a new Register Office at the Keynsham One Stop Shop as part of plans to improve services for the local community.

Photo Caption (left to right): Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, with Lesley Brown, the Registrar at the new Keynsham Register Office, and Alison Manning, the Registration Services Manager for the Bath and North East Somerset District.

Photo Caption (left to right): Councillor Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, with Lesley Brown, the Registrar at the new Keynsham Register Office, and Alison Manning, the Registration Services Manager for the Bath and North East Somerset District.

The new Register Office will operate two days a week, Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 4pm, to register births, deaths and see couples to complete the legal preliminaries to marriage and civil partnerships. The opening of the Keynsham office comes just ahead of another new office opening in the RUH in Bath on Monday 10 November. This office will provide a service on Mondays and Thursdays each week.

Council leader, Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), said: “We’re delighted to open a new Register Office service in Keynsham. The new One Stop Shop in Keynsham provides local residents with joined up customer services from the Council and a variety of other public and voluntary sector partners.

The new One Stop Shop and library at Keynsham Civic Centre

The new One Stop Shop and library at Keynsham Civic Centre

“These include Age UK B&NES, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Curo, Reach, Sirona Care & Health and WE Care & Repair. This new way of providing services now means people from Keynsham and the surrounding area can access a variety of face-to-face, phone and online services in one convenient location, as well as being able to visit the new library.”

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “By providing an onsite register office at the Keynsham One Stop Shop we hope to make the registering of births and deaths that bit more convenient for local families. Having this new office, in addition to our offices at The Guildhall in Bath, The Hollies in Midsomer Norton and the Royal United Hospital in Bath, will make our Registrars even more accessible to the residents of Bath and North East Somerset.”

There was formerly a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Keynsham sub-district who provided the service from the offices of the local Employment Exchange. The office that existed prior to this closed in 1936 when the Registration District changed to Bathavon.

To book an appointment with the Register Office at Keynsham One Stop Shop please contact 01225 477234.

More details about the new Keynsham One Stop Shop, as well as our existing offices in Bath and Midsomer Norton, are available at

What future for Bath museums?

What future for Bath museums?

Bath & North East Somerset Council is developing Forward Plans for two of Bath’s most important museums – the Victoria Art Gallery and the Roman Baths.

The Roman Baths.

The Roman Baths.

Bath's Victoria Art Gallery.

Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery.

The Forward Plans are required to enable both museums to re-apply for Arts Council England accreditation.

This is the Government’s scheme which shows that museums meet acceptable standards of governance, collections care, financial sustainability and public services.

Members of the public are invited to attend a consultation event about the plans at which they can hear about proposals and contribute their thoughts and ideas.

The event will take place at the Victoria Art Gallery on Wednesday 26 November from 6pm – 7.30pm.

When completed, the forward plans will provide a blueprint for work and development over the next three years.

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “I hope local people will take this opportunity to hear about and contribute to thinking and ideas for the future of the Victoria Art Gallery and the Roman Baths. It promises to be a good evening.”

Skate Park for Alice!

Skate Park for Alice!

Bath & North East Somerset Council is seeking the views of local people about a new skate park at Alice Park in Bath.

The Alice Park sign.

The Alice Park sign.

The Council plans to invest £100,000 in the new facility, following calls for a skate park to the east of the city from local parents and young people.

Cllr David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “This is a really exciting project and a great opportunity for partnership working between the Council and the community. It’s really inspiring to see so much support and hard work for the project coming from the community.

“This new investment will help foster new talent and build Bath’s reputation amongst the skating community. Providing a designated space for riders will also encourage young people away from using public spaces for skating – something which can sometimes bring them into conflict with other park users, residents and businesses.”

Alice Park.

Alice Park.

Leader of the Council and trustee of Alice Park, Cllr Paul Crossley, said: “This is a great opportunity to improve facilities for young people at Alice Park, in fact there is a requirement that four acres of the site must be set aside for use by young people. We plan to talk to local people and take on board views before deciding on detailed plans.”

To give a clear indication of what is intended, the Council has commissioned Canvas Spaces to put together designs for an area next to the existing playground – close to the other family facilities in the park and complementing the existing play area and junior cycle track. The new skate park would be designed in concrete with ramps and street features and then landscaped around the edge to soften the vista across the park.

Council officers will be sharing the design, and gathering thoughts and feedback, at two public drop-in consultations at the Oak Barn in Alice Park on Thursday November 27 (10am -12 pm), Sunday November 30 (1-3pm), and Saturday December 6 (10am-12pm).

From November 20, the design will also be available on the Council’s website at where you can also share your thoughts and feedback by completing the online consultation.

Alternatively, you can write to Skatepark Consultation at Bath and North East Somerset Council, Parks & Bereavement Services, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG; or email

The Council will be seeking feedback on the scheme until December 8. If needed, planning consent for the scheme will be sought in the New Year, with work following afterwards.

The local community and London Road Partnership are looking to raise additional funds for the new park – you can find out more by searching for Larkhall skatepark on Facebook’.

Bath – the UK’s most walkable city?

Bath – the UK’s most walkable city?

Bath & North East Somerset Council will discuss the draft transport strategy for Bath at its meeting on Thursday November 13.

Traffic congestion on the London Road

Traffic congestion on the London Road

Getting around Bath aims to reduce congestion and allow people to move around more easily to support the long-term economic strategy for the area.

The Council will hear that the strategy has been endorsed by Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London and President of the International Union of Public Transport, who lives in Bath and chairs the Bath Transport Commission.

He says: “Bringing about transport improvements and ones which support the Council’s spatial and economic development plans will always be a challenge in an historic and beautiful city like Bath, so it is vital to have this blueprint for the future. In delivering this strategy, we can ensure that the city is a great place to live and work, and equally welcoming to all visitors, whether on foot, bike, public transport or in a car.

“I applaud the work which Members of all parties have put into this consensual strategy; because of this, it will stand the test of time and be capable of guiding the Council and supporting the City’s challenging and ambitious strategy for housing and job growth in its Core Strategy.

“I am delighted that in the consultation, a significant majority have endorsed the vision of reducing congestion and increasing walking and cycling in the city centre. You can see how in London we have made significant progress with this approach and I look forward to seeing Bath achieve similar success in the future.”

The transport strategy was commissioned by the Council in April 2013, following extensive research and discussion with stakeholders. In addition there was a period of public consultation in June/July this year.

Getting Around Bath aims to:

· Support and enable economic growth, competitiveness and jobs
· Promote sustainable mobility
· Widen travel choice
· Widen access to jobs / learning / training
· Improve air quality and health, reducing vehicle carbon emissions
· Safeguard and enhancing the unique historic environment and World Heritage Site status
· Improve the quality of life in the city

Key proposals include: developing a walking/cycling strategy to make Bath the UK’s most walkable city; better management of HGVs in the city; continued expansion of Park and Ride sites and a new location for coaches to park after dropping off visitors in the bike

Cllr Caroline Roberts (LibDem, Newbridge), Bath & North East Somerset’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed towards this draft strategy. It has been well received and supported by the majority of those who responded to our consultation.

“Bath is an important World Heritage City – it’s vital that we look after the environment of the city whilst ensuring it’s a great place to live and work. This is an exciting time for Bath as we develop plans for the Bath Riverside Enterprise Area which will bring significant housing and jobs. We must get the transport right to allow these developments to work.”

If adopted, the strategy will be delivered through a wide range of projects which will be funded from various sources, including the Integrated Transport Capital grant (received annually from Government) and bids for additional monies from the Single Growth Fund managed by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. Having the agreed strategy will also enable the Council to target other funding opportunities.

You can see the strategy at

Remembrance services information.

Remembrance services information.

The Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Councillor Martin Veal, will attend this year’s Remembrance Day service at Haycombe Cemetery in Bath.war memorial

The service has been organised by the Council’s Bereavement Services team and will take place on Tuesday November 11. It will begin at 10.45am on the grassed area between the Cross of Sacrifice and the Blitz Graves within the cemetery grounds.

The Chairman will also be attending two services on Remembrance Sunday, November 9. He will be at Keynsham Annual Remembrance Parade and St John the Baptist Church Service from 9am to 12 noon, and the Bath Remembrance Day Procession followed by a service at Bath Abbey, from 1.50pm to 4pm.

The war memorial at Bath's Victoria Park.

The war memorial at Bath’s Victoria Park.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Crossley, and Chief Executive, Dr Jo Farrar, will lay wreaths on the Council’s behalf at the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial in Royal Victoria Park, Bath, which takes place from 10.30am to 11.45am on Sunday November 9.

The Council’s Vice Chairman, Cllr Ian Gilchrist, will attend Remembrance Sunday services at Royal British Legion Club in High Street, Midsomer Norton, from 11am to 12 noon, and at Waterloo Road in Radstock between 2pm and 3pm.

Cllr Veal said: “This is an important time for the whole nation and the people of Bath and North East Somerset to remember those who gave their lives so gallantly and also to remember those who lost their lives in the Bath Blitz in 1942.”


Family photos get civic display.

Family photos get civic display.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is to host a Connecting Families photographic exhibition at its Guildhall offices in October and November.

‘Connecting’ is a family photography project, where parents, children and siblings have worked together to explore various different aspects of photography, many for the first time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo families comprising seven people took part in the four-week programme and the photographs they took will be displayed in the Guildhall, Bath, from Monday 27 October to Sunday 2 November, following a recent celebration event and exhibition of their work in 44AD Gallery, 4 Abbey Street, Bath.

The families have worked from a starting point of shape, colour, texture, light and portraiture to capture what they saw around them, what caught their eye, and what was important to them.

Councillor Dine Romero (Lib-Dem, Southdown), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children, and Youth, said: “This fantastic project has produced an amazing variety of photographs and has enabled the two families who took part to tap into their imagination and creativity. It also builds on the work that our Connecting Families team does in the local communities in Bath and the surrounding area.”

The ‘Connecting’ programme was a partnership project which was funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Arts Development team. Families were identified via the Council’s Connecting Families team and the project was carried out by Suited & Booted Studios, led by Chris Kemp, who said “It was a joy to work with and be inspired by the families, and their infectious enthusiasm for the project.”

Families said that “they learned a lot about using a camera and editing photos”. One family member felt that they would not have taken photos without this opportunity and one young girl has since enrolled onto a school photography club.

The ‘Connecting’ exhibition is free of charge and residents and visitors are welcome to pop in and take a look while passing by the Guildhall.