Bath Abbey has appointed design company, ABG Design, and strategic planning consultants, Julia Holberry Associates, to work alongside their Interpretation Officer to develop new and exciting ways of sharing the Abbey’s 1,200 year history with visitors, as part of the Abbey’s long-term Footprint project.
Cornish company ABG Design will be responsible for the creative design of all new interpretation and displays, while Julia Holberry Associates who are based in Oxford will be consulting Bath residents and visitors to understand how people engage with the Abbey in order to help extend and develop the current plans for interpretation, learning and participation.
Howard Miles, Managing Director ABG Design, said: “We’re thrilled to have been selected to work with the Abbey on such a significant project as Footprint. Thousands of people visit the Abbey each month and we feel privileged to be tasked with coming up with the overall look and feel of the interpretation and displays that will help draw them in, enable them to discover the many fascinating stories the Abbey has to tell, and to help them connect with the Abbey on their level.”
Julia Holberry of Julia Holberry Associates, said: “We’re very excited about our role in the Footprint project, which is to ask local people for their feedback about how they engage with the Abbey’s events and activities, what they would like to see more of and, on the basis of those discussions, devise a programme of activities that will inspire everyone to visit, enjoy and learn about the Abbey.”
The work being done by both companies will be essential in helping the Abbey meet the Heritage Lottery Fund’s requirements during the Footprint project’s development phase. While the Footprint project is driven by the need to repair the Abbey’s collapsing floor, one of Footprint’s key objectives is to provide a new interpretation centre which will inspire and encourage visitors to explore the church building, its rich history as well as to help people make connections with the Abbey’s present day activities.
Commenting on the two new appointments, Oliver Taylor, Bath Abbey’s Interpretation Officer, said: “Bath Abbey is a thriving church in the centre of Bath with lots of stories to tell, past and present whether it’s about the music, the building or the people. It means different things to different people and everyone connects with it in a different way.
Both teams that we’ll be working with understand the wonderful opportunities, as well as challenges, that this diversity presents. Our aim, through Footprint, is that our new interpretation and activities programme will make the Abbey a more welcoming, exciting and inspiring place for people to visit and explore.”