The ongoing project to create a new World Heritage Centre in Bath has received a £359,600 boost thanks to the Government’s Culture Recovery Funding scheme.
The Capital Kickstart Fund award has been provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will be used to help the project get back on track after it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Archway Project will convert former Victorian spa buildings close to the Roman Baths into a new World Heritage Centre, acting as a central location 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, which 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 extraordinary archaeology of Roman Baths, while surrounded by inspiring 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.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “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.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “These are all ongoing major refurbishment and restoration projects, funded by us, which have been threatened by the pandemic.
“From the oldest surviving outdoor swimming baths to a Victorian pier, and from a much-loved park to an historic abbey, these are all places that will enrich hundreds of lives when they reopen.
“We are delighted this extra funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will ensure that these exciting projects will go ahead.”