Exciting Bath heritage centre plans unveiled11 October 2019
Plans for a ground-breaking new visitor attraction in Bath have been unveiled, which will showcase the Roman Baths in a new light and celebrate the city as a World Heritage Site.
If city planners agree, the new World Heritage Centre and Roman Baths Learning Centre will be created by developing three underused and dilapidated Victoria spa buildings nearby. The plan is to create a new visitor centre which will, according to the planning application: “radically improve access, understanding and enjoyment of the internationally significant Roman Baths and the City of Bath World Heritage Site.”
The new centre will be completely free to visit, with development costs supported by £3.4 million funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Commenting on the project, Councillor Paul Crossley told Somerset Live:
“Until now there has been nowhere in Bath for residents and visitors to find out why the City of Bath is a World Heritage Site.
“The centre will be free to enter and will have displays showing why Bath has World Heritage status, but most importantly it will encourage visitors to go out onto the streets and see it for themselves.”
New underground access to the Roman Baths
As well as creating a brand-new venue capable of attracting 100,000 visitors a year, the Bath Heritage Centre plans include new underground spaces which will link it to the Roman Baths. The underground areas will be designed to meet the needs of a wide range of modern visitors, as well as linking the Baths to an innovative new learning centre.
The planning application states:
“The learning centre will be connected to the Roman Baths by an underground tunnel that will inspire and excite everyone using it.
“The development will also increase public access to and engagement with Roman archaeology at Britain’s most stunning Roman monument.”
The learning centre will feature dedicated teaching space for the Roman Baths, as well as hosting a number of community events and activities. There are even plans for learning opportunities such as a dig pit where visiting school children can ‘discover’ replica Roman artefacts.
Excitingly, the project will open up brand new areas of the Roman Baths to visitors, including a Roman laconicum (a sauna-type space) and even a possible exercise yard used by Roman visitors to the original Baths.
When will the new Bath Heritage Centre be built?
Provided that planning permission is granted by Bath and North East Somerset Council, the venue is expected to be open to the public by the later part of 2020. This will give project managers time to iron out any snags and make improvements during the quieter winter months.
If you fancy being one of the first to step through the doors of the new World Heritage Centre in Bath, better start planning your trip now! Our Hot Bath apartment, hugely popular due to its super central location, is just a street or two away from the Roman Baths. It’s the ideal spot to explore the city centre’s main attractions. So, book as early as possible once an opening date for the Centre is announced to avoid disappointment!