Underneath the Archway.

Underneath the Archway.

CN-XdOdW8AAmSfTThe Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Tim Warren, has today shown Bath’s new MP, Ben Howlett, around the site of the planned Archway Centre.

The Council plans to create a state-of-the-art Roman Baths Learning Centre above the former city laundry in Swallow Street and a World Heritage Visitor Centre in 10 York Street.

The £5 million project will provide two new facilities for Bath:

· The World Heritage Centre will be the first dedicated facility in the city centre to explain to residents and visitors alike just why Bath is a World Heritage Site, encouraging them to explore its many important features.

· The Learning Centre will greatly improve educational facilities at the Roman Baths, enabling a wider programme of learning activities to take place, for schools and learning groups of all ages.

The project will also enable Roman Baths visitors to walk through spaces beneath York Street excavated in the 1880s by City Architect, Major C.E. Davies, and see parts of the site never previously open to regular public access.

Cllr Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip) Leader of the Council, said: “The city’s new MP, Ben Howlett, wanted to see for himself the site of this exciting project. I was able to share with him our vision to help bring to life our heritage.

The illustration shows the proposed Archway Centre.

The illustration shows the proposed Archway Centre. Click on images to enlarge.

“The Roman Baths are the most important Roman archaeological site in the country. We want to improve the experience for school groups visiting the Baths and provide a better interpretation of the World Heritage Site for everyone. We have been very successful in gaining external funding for this work, which will benefit local residents and support our tourism economy.”

The Council submitted a successful round one development grant application* to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £168,100 in 2014.

In June, residents and community representatives were invited to share their ideas for the proposed new Archway Centre.

Council staff are now working with the design team to prepare a round two application to the HLF early in 2016 for capital funding for the project.

Roman monumental stones 'scattered' on the floor. An area the public would get to see.

Roman monumental stones ‘scattered’ on the floor. An area the public would get to see.

Background Info:

Local architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) have been appointed lead designers for the planned ‘Archway Centre’.

Other members of the design team are Bath-based structural and civil engineers Integral Engineering Design and mechanical and electrical engineers Method Consulting from Swindon.

1. * Heritage Grants (HG) applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

2. From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. http://www.hlf.org.uk.

3. For further information about the Archway Centre see www.romanbaths.co.uk/archwaycentre
4. For further information about the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site see http://www.bathworldheritage.org.uk/

Late night opening at Bath’s Fashion Museum

Late night opening at Bath’s Fashion Museum

Visitors to Bath’s Fashion Museum will have extra time to browse the world-class displays this summer, as the museum will be open until 6pm every Thursday in August, with last exit at 7pm.

Fashion displays. Click on images to enlarge.

Fashion displays. Click on images to enlarge.

A select number of visitors will also have a chance to experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum collection. Tours for a maximum of four people will run every Thursday evening and can be booked via Bath Box Office (http://bathboxoffice.org.uk/, tickets £8).

The Thursday evening openings at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Fashion Museum have been made possible by funding from Arts Council England to the Bath Museums Partnership.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “This will give visitors to the city and local people alike the chance to explore the Fashion Museum into the early evening, and a lucky few will also get to see behind the scenes.

The Roman Baths and Victoria Art Gallery are also opening later on Thursdays during the summer, offering a cultural addition to Bath’s vibrant evening economy.”

Look 41 - By Gareth Pugh -  2014 Dress of the Year.

Look 41 – By Gareth Pugh – 2014 Dress of the Year.

Current displays at the museum include ‘Georgians – dress for polite society’, featuring sumptuous Georgian dress alongside Georgian-inspired creations by some of today’s top designers; ‘Great Names of Fashion’, showcasing beautiful evening dresses by designers including Dior, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent; and a chance to see this year’s ‘Dress of the Year’ by Gareth Pugh.

Tickets for the Fashion Museum cost £8.25/£7.25 concessions. Entry is free for Discovery Card holders. Find out more at www.fashionmuseum.co.uk

T’ai Chi on the Terrace at the Roman Baths

T’ai Chi on the Terrace at the Roman Baths

Summer T’ai Chi sessions are being organised at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Roman Baths, offering the opportunity for early morning relaxation and gentle exercise.

Tai Chi on the Terrace at the Roman Baths. Picture taken during last year's sessions. Click on image to enlarge.

Tai Chi on the Terrace at the Roman Baths. Picture taken during last year’s sessions. Click on image to enlarge.

The half-hour sessions start at 8am and will run every Tuesday from July 14 – September 15. Led by a qualified and supportive T’ai Chi instructor, they are open to anyone interested in improving their balance and clearing their minds.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Being able to take part in T’ai Chi sessions at the Roman Baths is an experience unique to the city of Bath and a very special experience for local people. The baths were used as a social venue back in ancient times and it’s wonderful that they can still be used by the community in this way today.”

The early morning T’ai Chi sessions are planned to fit easily into a working day, or a trip to the shops or other sites of cultural and historical interest nearby.
The sessions cost £4 each and places must be booked in advance by calling 01225 477773. It is advised to wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. No previous experience of T’ai Chi is necessary.

T’ai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art, widely believed to promote well-being by focusing the mind on the physical movements which bring about a state of mental calm.
http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/events/tai-chi-terrace

Holiday fun for the family.

Holiday fun for the family.

The Great Bath - part of the  Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

The Great Bath – part of the Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

Seems there are plenty of family activity sessions  lined up at the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery to keep youngsters happy during the summer holidays.
Bath & North East Somerset Council-run museums are hosting a number of activity sessions suitable for all ages – from discovering Roman fashions to creating collages inspired by nature. All are free to local resident Discovery Card holders; otherwise normal admission prices apply.
Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Our new administration wants to make sure that the whole community can benefit from the wonderful Heritage assets we have in our area. This is a great opportunity for families from across Bath and North East Somerset to see what’s on offer at the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery.”
Togas and Tunics, Roman Baths
Mondays July 20 and 27: family drop-in session; call in at any time between 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm, and find out more about how the Romans dressed.
Bedazzled, Fashion Museum

Georgian dresses at the Fashion Museum.

Georgian dresses at the Fashion Museum.

Tuesday July 21: 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm – family drop-in session.
Make paper beads and string them together to create beautiful and original jewellery.
Red, Fashion Museum
Tuesday July 28: 10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm – family drop-in session.
Explore the colour red, its associations and how fashion designers have used it in all its various shades.
Seaside Explorers, Victoria Art Gallery
Wednesday July 22: 10.30am – 12 noon. For ages 3 to 6 years.
Paint fishy underwater scenes and explore the seaside of the past in the gallery’s paintings. Also have a go at making an ice cream cornet mobile to take home.
Nature Artist, Victoria Art Gallery

The Rotunda at the top of the staircase in the Victoria Art Gallery.

The Rotunda at the top of the staircase in the Victoria Art Gallery.

Friday July 24: 10.30am – 12 noon. For ages 5 to 11 years.
Make a mono-print inspired by nature and the gallery’s special exhibition. Make a landscape picture using rubbings and textures and use torn paper to create a collage.
Regency Revels, Victoria Art Gallery
Wednesday July 29: 10.30am – 12 noon. For ages 3 to 6 years.
Create some special hats and headgear. Dress up in your hats and learn how to bow and curtsey in polite society!
Picture Frames, Victoria Art Gallery
Friday July 31: 10.30am – 12 noon. For ages 5 to 11 years.
Create a beautiful picture frame using motifs and designs from our special exhibition.
ends

Bath on the move

Bath on the move

Commuters and visitors to Bath are being encouraged to beat the rail works and make the most of the World Heritage City with a range of travel options this summer.

The Great Western line through Sydney Gardens.

The Great Western line through Sydney Gardens.

From July 18, Network Rail will start work to improve the rail services in and around Bath, Reading and Wiltshire. The Bath railway corridor is being prepared for electrification and the introduction of new, higher capacity, trains that will improve journeys and benefit local economies.

Bath Spa train station will remain open throughout Network Rail’s programme of works but there will be reduced access to the railway from July 18 to August 31. Network Rail and First Great Western have developed a range of measures to help travellers to get to Bath, with the cooperation of Bath & North East Somerset Council – from a fleet of replacement coaches to reshaping the timetable. These have been funded by Network Rail.

Bath remains fully open for business and pleasure – and Bath & North East Somerset Council has taken a number of actions to help people get into Bath easily. These include:

· Increasing Park and Ride capacity at Lansdown
· Signing diversionary routes to the Lansdown and Odd Down park and ride sites
· Creating a temporary inbound bus lane on London Road
· Embargoing all non-emergency road works for the period
· Additional parking and bus lane enforcement – to keep Bath moving.

Cllr Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown) Cabinet Member for Lansdown, said: “We’re keen to ensure that everyone is able to get around in Bath and make the most of what our beautiful World Heritage City has to offer. Our CCTV control room will be monitoring the areas around Bath Spa train station and the bus station and the routes in and out of Bath. This will enable us to support the train station with managing people coming and going; guide the bus drivers to take the coaches and buses along the least busy routes and update our variable messaging signs to advise motorists of the best routes to take.”

Visitors to Bath are also reminded that the torchlit Roman Baths will remain open to 10pm (last entry 9pm) right throughout July and August; with additional later opening times at the Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery on Thursdays 6, 13, 20 and 27 August; until 7pm.

The Great Bath - part of the  Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

The Great Bath – part of the Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

There are two phases of Network Rail’s electrification work: Phase 1 (July 18 – 31) when services between Bath Spa and Chippenham will be diverted, and Phase 2 (August 1 – 31) when the lines between both Bath and Chippenham and Bath and Trowbridge will be closed.
Rail replacement buses will be operating east of Bath. These will be direct express coaches running from train stations directly in to Bath Spa.

During Phase 1: First Bus will continue to operate services between Station Hill in Chippenham and Bath’s Grand Parade and Westbury Railway station and Bath Spa. To plan your journey visit http://www.firstgroup.com.

During Phase 2: The quickest way to get into Bath will be by bus. First Great Western will be running dedicated bus services for all passengers east of Bath to Bath Spa. Detailed timetables are available from Avoncliff, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham, Freshford, Frome and Trowbridge stations.

For more details, please visit http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/bath2015.

For regular bus services, check out Traveline at http://www.travelinesw.com.

Or if you’re planning to drive, please use the Park and Ride!

Torch-lit Baths

Torch-lit Baths

The Roman Baths will open its doors until 10pm (last entry 9pm) every evening in July and August, giving visitors a chance

The Roman Baths.

The Roman Baths.

to explore the awe-inspiring attraction by torchlight.

With its steaming Great Bath, 2,000-year-old pavements and stunning Roman artefacts, an evening visit to the Roman Baths is a unique and unforgettable experience.

Run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Roman Baths attracts 1 million visitors a year, making it one of the most visited heritage attractions in the United Kingdom.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to offer visitors the chance to see the magnificent Roman Baths by torchlight. Entry is free for Bath & North East Somerset Council residents on production of a Discovery Card, so this is a great opportunity for local people to experience one of Bath’s most famous attractions out of normal daytime hours. The Roman Baths is leading the way in encouraging a vibrant evening economy in Bath.”

Visitors can round off their evening with a meal at the Pump Room restaurant or Roman Baths Kitchen.

Evening Dining at the Pump Room
The Pump Room restaurant will be open late for dinner and drinks during July and August, with live music every evening. Last orders 9pm. Please call 01225 444477 to book.

Roman Baths Kitchen
The Roman Baths Kitchen offers a more informal setting with alfresco dining. Reservations can be made on 01225 477877 or email rbk@searcys.co.uk.

Twilight Dinner and Tour
A special twilight ticket including two-course dinner with coffee at the Roman Baths Kitchen followed by a guided tour of the Roman Baths by torchlight is available between 5pm and 9pm (£36 per ticket). Reservations can be made on 0844 8475 256 or email tourism@bathtourism.co.uk.

The Roman Baths shop will stay open until 9.45pm. Visit http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/torchlit to find out more.

The Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery, also run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, will also stay open late on selected evenings in August 2015.

Between floors at the Victoria Art Gallery.

Between floors at the Victoria Art Gallery.

The Fashion Museum will be open until 7pm (last entry 6pm) on Thursdays 6, 13, 20 and 27 August. Visit http://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk for more information.

The Victoria Art Gallery will host ‘Thursday Lates’ to accompany the ‘Jane Austen’s Bath’ exhibition. Period dance displays will take place from 5pm to 7pm (free to Discovery Card and ticket holders):

· 6 and 13 August – Bath Minuet Dancers
· 20 and 27 August – Jane Austen Dancers.

See www.victoriagal.org.uk for details.

Have your say on new Archway Centre

Have your say on new Archway Centre

Residents and community representatives are being invited to share their ideas for the proposed new Archway Centre in Bath.

Some of the vaults that would be opened to the public.

Some of the vaults that would be opened to the public.

An open meeting to hear about and discuss this innovative project is being held at 7pm on Tuesday June 16, at The Pump Room, Abbey Church Yard, Bath.

Members of the project team will explain Bath & North East Somerset Council’s plans to create a state-of-the-art Roman Baths Learning Centre above the former city laundry in Swallow Street and a World Heritage Site Visitor Centre in 10 York Street.

The Laconicum - which could be on permanent display.

The Laconicum – which could be on permanent display.

The project would also create an ‘Investigation Zone’ in the undercroft beneath York Street, and expose more Roman remains to public view.

The Learning Centre will allow the Roman Baths to develop formal and informal learning programmes and for a wide range of communities and audiences.

Roman monumental stones 'scattered' on the floor. An area the public would get to see.

Roman monumental stones ‘scattered’ on the floor. An area the public would get to see.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “It is important that anyone who might want to use the Learning Centre or World Heritage Visitor Centre can contribute to the Council’s vision for the Archway Centre.

I hope that individuals and representatives of local organisations will take advantage of this opportunity.”

Those attending the meeting will have the opportunity to ask questions of members of the project team, discuss the project with others, contribute their own ideas, and find out how to become involved in the project.

The Council submitted a successful round one development grant application* to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £168,100 in 2014. Council staff will work with the project team over the next nine months to prepare a round two application to the HLF early in 2016 for capital funding for the Archway Centre. The project is expected to cost around £5 million.

To find out more or reserve a place at the meeting please call 01225 477773 during office hours. Entrance to the meeting will be via Abbey Church Yard.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
1. * Heritage Grants (HG) applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

2. From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. http://www.hlf.org.uk.

3. For further information about the Archway Centre see www.romanbaths.co.uk/archwaycentre
4. For further information about the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site see http://www.bathworldheritage.org.uk/