Some good news today for those working towards getting Bath included as one of the ‘Great Spas of Europe’ with support for the bid from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Tony Crouch – the City of Bath World Heritage Site Manager – tells me: “The Department is running a ‘technical evaluation’ exercise to assess any UK proposals to go forward to UNESCO as bids for World Heritage status.
In November 2015 we travelled to London to present to an expert panel. The role of the panel was to assess our emerging bid, consider if it was robust and fit for purpose, and advise the Minister accordingly.
The report has been released today and the covering letter includes the following remark: ‘The Minister fully supports the continued development of your proposals for the possible inclusion of Bath as a UK component in the series and wishes you every success in doing so.’
We have therefore passed muster and although there is still a long way to go this is an important milestone in the ‘Great Spas of Europe’ project. The support of the Minister is a welcome validation of the hard work and technical expertise needed to bring the nomination to this stage.’
Bath’s Member of Parliament, Ben Howlett, has welcomed today’s news that the expert group have found that Bath has the potential to make a substantial contribution to the Outstanding Universal Value of a transnational series of Spa Towns.
After hearing of the Department’s support Ben commented, ‘This is fantastic news and I am really pleased that DCMS will continue the development of the proposals for Bath to be nominated to join the other Great Spas of Europe. The Bath Spas are a beautiful centrepiece to our city and we are so fortunate to have them. International acclaim such as this will no doubt bring even more people to Bath so we can share the beauty of our spas.’f the Department’s
The Great Spas of Europe prides itself in being composed of the most important Spa towns in the world, which are a testament to the development of medicine. The group represents spa activity, cultural exchange and the contribution to cultural development throughout Europe. Each city the spa falls in must also meet the criteria of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ben added, ‘The inclusion of Bath as one of the Great Spas of Europe would ensure it is a must attend location for any international visitors interested in Spa towns. This level of prestige, seeing it stand next to famous spas in Germany, Austria and Italy, will undoubtedly attract more visitors to our city, bolstering the tourist economy.’
Tracey Crouch, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, said, ‘An expert group met on 3 November 2015 and recommended that Bath does have the potential to make a substantial contribution to the Outstanding Universal Value of transnational series of Spa Towns. I agree with their advice and have given approval for the continued development of these proposals for the possible inclusion of Bath as a component of the nomination.
‘I’m sure you will join me in supporting the possible inclusion of Bath in the series of World Heritage Spa towns and the resulting positive effect this is likely to have on Bath.’