Bath Abbey’s Footprint project, planned to secure the Abbey’s physical future, has taken a huge step forward with the success in its latest bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), unlocking £10.7 million of funding.
This grant will help fund the physical work needed to the fabric of the Abbey and provide the space to enable the Abbey’s facilities for education and for music to be developed.
The project will make a major impact on the ability of the Abbey to fulfil the various roles that it plays for the city of Bath and the surrounding region.
The success of this application means that the Heritage Lottery Fund is confident in Bath Abbey’s plans and believes that a high-quality project will be delivered.
Footprint will provide a stable, level and restored floor within the Abbey by filling voids caused by thousands of burials together with an innovative, eco-friendly hydrothermal heating system, using energy in the water from Bath’s famous hot springs.
In addition, the HLF funding will enable the Abbey to realise exciting plans for a Discovery Centre and a Song School, two key resources that will enable the Abbey to better serve both the residents of Bath and the hundreds of thousands of visitors it welcomes every year.
The Reverend Prebendary Edward Mason, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “We are all delighted to learn that we have secured this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is great news for the Abbey, the city and the region and also for those who have personally put so much time, effort and money into the project.
“The Abbey has been at the centre of the Bath community for over 1,200 years and, thanks to the HLF, Footprint will enable it to continue serve current and future generations for hundreds of years to come.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “The great medieval Bath Abbey has a rich history and the innovative Footprint project will ensure that this special place can continue to play a vital role in the lives of the thousands of people who visit every year.
“Our support for the essential capital works, collections care and use of sustainable energy will bring the Abbey into the 21st century, enabling people from Bath and further afield to enjoy this special place long into the future.”
Charles Curnock, Director of the Footprint Project, said: “We are enormously grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this wonderful grant. We can now believe that we really have a project.
“The grant also provides a fantastic boost to our remaining fundraising. In addition to other funds which have been so generously given, the total project cost of £19.3 million is now firmly within our sights – there is £1.5 million left to raise.
“We don’t however underestimate the effort which will still be needed to secure this funding; we do however very much appreciate all those who have helped the project to date in many different ways.
“This final fundraising phase is now a chance for everyone to get involved. In particular, the Abbey are collaborating with LocalGiving and the Bath Percent Club with the aim of raising £50,000 from friends and visitors – with the added bonus that every pound donated will be matched with another pound from the Bath Percent Club.
“This campaign is being run on LocalGiving’s secure online giving platform, meaning that everyone can keep a track of progress, and donate online, at www.footprint.gift.
“Bath Abbey belongs to all the people of the city and we hope very much that local residents will want to leave their own footprint here for hundreds of years to come.”