Doors open again at the Newark Works

The old Newark Works
The old Newark Works. Click on images to enlarge.

Some good news at last for one of Bath’s most sensitive derelict sites. The old Newark Works – historic home to crane makers Stothert and Pitt for many years – may soon have a new occupier.

The defence firm BMT wants to bring its Bath workforce together at one location and has reached an outline agreement with B&NES to utilise at least part of the factory.

The company – one of the city’s biggest employers – could be putting in a planning application by next year.

The Newark Works – which date from 1857 – were part of the famous Stothert and Pitt heavy engineering works – manufacturing dockside and other heavy-duty cranes – until closure in 1987.

The Virtual Museum has been talking to Cllr Ben Stevens who is Cabinet member for Sustainable Development about the proposals. He also had news of a search for new top-end restaurants and the unique site thew Council hoped would attract them!

Cllr Bryan Chalker – who is Heritage Champion for B&NES – has been campaigning for years to bring the old Newark Works back to life as a museum embracing the whole city’s heritage and history. He told the Virtual Museum:

Cllr Bryan Chalker Independent, Lambridge Ward
Cllr Bryan Chalker
Independent, Lambridge Ward

“Bang goes my dream of seeing the Newark Works transformed into a Museum of Bath but at least there are signs that the building’s importance as an industrial relic is being recognised and I hope the re-development will be wholly sympathetic to the legacy of Stothert & Pitt.

It would be comforting to think that space could be found for one or two S&P relics to be exhibited, both inside and out, and perhaps a 19th century barge permanently anchored to remind people that the Avon was once a working river and vital asset to this great crane-making company”.