The Archway Project at the Roman Baths has received a grant of £75,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, a major milestone in funding for the building of a state-of-the-art Roman Baths Learning Centre.
Situated above the former spa laundry in Swallow Street, the new facilities will increase the space dedicated to education at the Roman Baths by 400%. Two new classrooms will enable the Roman Baths to develop formal and informal learning programmes, engaging a wide range of communities and audiences.
The new Learning Centre will be connected to the Roman Baths by an undercroft that passes through Roman remains beneath York Street. An underground Investigation Zone will provide hands-on access to Roman remains through facilitated learning sessions.
The Learning Centre will give more school children a higher standard of facilities and enable the Roman Baths to reach out to a wider variety of people locally and regionally with a range of new learning experiences.
The Roman Baths Foundation is a charitable company set up to raise funds for conservation and education work at the Roman Baths. Fundraising for the Archway Project is its first flagship project.
David Beeton, Chairman of the Roman Baths Foundation, said: “The Foundation is delighted that its efforts to raise funding for a state-of-the-art Learning Centre for the Roman Baths have been supported so enthusiastically by the Garfield Weston Foundation.”
The Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, Philippa Charles, said; “We are delighted to be supporting this project, which will improve the learning experience for those who visit the Baths, which are such an important part of the UK’s heritage.”
The Learning Centre is the largest element in a project that also includes a World Heritage Centre and new access to Roman remains beneath York Street that have never before been on public display.
The Roman Baths has submitted a second stage application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to secure a grant of nearly £3.5 million towards the £5 million project. The HLF is due to make a decision later this year.
If the fundraising target is achieved, building work will start in summer 2017 and the new Learning Centre and World Heritage Centre will open in early 2019.
For more information visit www.romanbaths.co.uk/archway
For your information:
The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making foundation which supports a wide range of causes across the UK, donating over £58million in the most recent financial year.
It was established in 1958 by Willard Garfield Weston and since then has donated over £900million, becoming one of the largest and most respected charitable institutions in the UK.
The trustees are descendants of the founder and the Weston Family takes a highly active and hands-on approach.