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Bath Archway Project awarded more than £350,000 in Funding

A project to create a new World Heritage Centre and learning centre in Bath has been awarded a slice of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Funding announced today (February 19).

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Archway Project, delayed due to the Covid pandemic, has received a Capital Kickstart Fund award of £359,600 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Capital Kickstart Fund helps heritage projects to restart planned work that currently face delays or increased costs.

The Archway Project will convert former Victorian spa buildings close to the Roman Baths into a new World Heritage Centre, acting as a hub 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 and 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.

The Capital Kickstart Fund builds on over £1 billion awarded to a huge range of cultural and heritage organisations from the Culture Recovery Fund last year. Today’s funding announcement is for ambitious projects at 22 heritage organisations, also including Cleveland Pools and Bath Abbey, which will benefit from £13.5 million in targeted grants allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restart planned work that now face delays or increased costs.

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.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, along with the BFI, Historic England and Arts Council England, are currently assessing applications for the remaining £400 million in funding from the Culture Recovery Fund, which was held back to allow the Government to support organisations through the Spring and Summer.

Recipients from the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund have contributed stunning images to a curated collection of video-call backgrounds, released today. The public can choose from famous arts venues and heritage sites from Durham Cathedral to the English National Ballet to use as their background and show their support for the cultural sectors. The backgrounds are free to download.

The full list of capital grant awards from National Lottery Heritage Fund is:

Museum of Oxford Hidden Histories, £240,000
Bevis Marks Synagogue Heritage Foundation, £497,000
North Yorkshire Moors Historic Railway Trust, £296,000
The Royal Pavilion Estate, Brighton, £1,000,000
Tavistock Guildhall Gateway Centre, £130,900
Geffrye Museum Trust, £692,000
Bath Abbey, £534,000
Tunbridge Wells Cultural & Learning Hub, £675,000
The Archway Project: Roman Baths Learning Centre and World Heritage Centre, £359,600
Swanage Pier Regeneration Project, £469,800
Cleveland Pools Trust, £290,000
Lincoln Cathedral, £973,600
Chester Farm, £719,700
Wicksteed Park, £302,700
Black Country Living Museum, £3,740,000
The Whitaker, £179,900
The Globe, Stockton-on-Tees, £774,000
The Common Room of the Great North, £228,000
Beamish Museum, £975,500
Carlisle Cathedral, £250,000
Thackray Museum, £174,600
The Hyde Park Picture House, £285,600

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