Arts Quarter

Exciting plans revealed for new arts quarter on Bath’s Weston Island

16th November 2021

If new plans go ahead, Bath could soon be welcoming a brand new contemporary arts destination. 

The exciting ‘Arts Island’ plans have recently been unveiled in relation to Weston Island in Bath, which is just outside the city centre. The island sits in the middle of the River Avon, near the suburb of Twerton. It’s currently used as a First Bus depot, but could become available in the next five years. 

The idea for Weston Island’s transformation came from Bath Art Depot, a group of local artists. They want to turn the generous space into a fabulous new arts quarter for Bath, complete with sculpture park, flea market, gallery, café and artist studios. 

Speaking to the BBC about the ambitious plans, the collective’s Nicola Turner explained:  

“What we’d like to do is a sort of bottom-up development which is along the lines of NDSM in Amsterdam, where you actually start with the existing buildings… and put studio space within that.

“The island has two huge hangars, which could be made available to artists and performers from around the world, as well as creating space for the local community.”

A green vision for Arts Island

The proposals for the Weston Island project also include a focus on sustainability. Bath Art Depot wants to repurpose existing buildings, such as the large hangers which are already on the site, to cut down on emissions related to construction. There’s also a plan to use green energy systems to power the site and lower its carbon footprint. 

Support from Bath MP

While there have been alternative plans put forward to use Weston Island for a Post Office and builder’s merchant, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse is firmly in support of something more exciting for the promising site. Urging the council to ‘think big’ in backing the plan, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath said:

“Let’s create something the local communities can embrace and be part of that improves links across the river, bolsters the island’s ecology and that attracts international visitors to Bath.”

Watch this space for more Arts Island news…

We’ll need to hold tight to see if Bath’s bright new arts quarter really does emerge from an old bus depot. If the plans are approved and the project goes ahead, it’ll definitely be a must-see for any trip to Bath. 

At present, visitors love wandering through the beautiful Bath Artisan Quarter, the informal name for the area along London Road and Walcot Street. It’s home to an eclectic collection of vintage clothing boutiques, independent art shops and of course, the popular weekend flea market. Arts Island could be a wonderful addition to Bath’s art and culture scene, which is already one of the best in the UK. 

To get your fill of arts, independent shopping and more in Bath, why not pop over for a culture-packed weekend in the city? Check out our beautiful self-catering Bath accommodation, right in the heart of the city centre.