Bath building​ firm wins Abbey contract.

Bath Abbey’s awarded a multi-million-pound contract – for its Footprint Project – to a local building firm.

The West Front of Bath Abbey

Work will be getting underway very soon to repair and stabilise the Abbey’s collapsing floor, provide modern meeting, catering and toilet facilities and even use energy from Bath’s natural hot springs.

The pews in the nave will be for sale next year!

There will be a Discovery Centre telling the story and history of the Abbey and a new Song School for choristers.

The most controversial side of all of the planned work – totalling nearly 20 million pounds and including a hefty grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – will be the permanent removal of the nave pews.

Work will begin to the left of the great east window.

A decision contested recently by the Victorian Society who lost their Church Court battle to save them.

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Charles Curnock, Project Director

Do click on the following interview in which Project DIrector, Charles Curnock, talks about the contractors, the fate of the pews, the design of their replacement chairs and his own future.




Julian Emery, managing director of Emery, said: “As a locally based company, we are delighted to be given the opportunity to work on the Footprint project. It is a fantastic project not just for the Abbey but for Bath as a whole. It has really captured everyone’s imagination, especially the prospect of having an eco-friendly heating system using some of the energy from Bath’s famous hot springs.

We’re also pleased to be able to support the local economy by using businesses from the area whenever possible during the build programme and look forward to bringing to life the Abbey’s vision to make it fit-for-purpose for future generations.”

Wessex Water will be digging and laying pipes that will carry hot water from the Roman Baths into the new eco-heating system. The Abbey has also appointed Wessex Archaeology from Salisbury to work alongside the building contractors to document and interpret any objects that may be uncovered by the excavation.

To find out more about how to support Bath Abbey’s Footprint project, visit Your donations will be generously matched by the Brownsword Charitable Foundation. This means that any donation you give to the Footprint project will automatically be doubled: if you donate £10, the Brownsword Charitable Foundation will also give £10 – your £10 donation is worth £20 to Footprint! Simply use the reference ‘FPBF’ when donating.

About Bath Abbey’s Footprint

The £19.3 million Footprint project aims to carry out essential repairs to the Abbey’s collapsing floor, install a new eco-friendly heating system using Bath’s unique hot springs as a source of energy and enlarge capacity by creating 200sq metres of new facilities to fulfil the Abbey as a place of congregation, equal access and hospitality. A programme is also planned to record and interpret the Abbey’s 1,200 years of history and this iconic church for millions of visitors including educational visits. Thanks to a grant of £10.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, additional funds from private individuals and trusts, as well as the Abbey’s own congregation and visitors, the Abbey now has just over £1 million left to raise.


For further details about Bath Abbey, please visit

About Emery

Emery is a family-run building contractor located in Bath, established as a business in 1947 by three brothers, George Arnold Emery, Lewis Emery and Brian Emery. The firm is now owned and operated by a further two generations of the Emery family and has been trading for over 70 years, carrying out the majority of our work in Bath and the surrounding areas.

The company has slowly expanded over the past 70 plus years, and employs many experienced and skilled craftsmen and tradesmen. In 2016 we relocated our main offices from Darlington Wharf to Bathford Works where we recently completed the construction of our new office space along with three separate industrial spaces.

About SSH Conservation

SSHConservation are leading consultants and conservators of historic buildings, monuments and sculpture. We offer a unique combination of the academic and the practical, underpinned by over 30 years stone conservation experience.

About Wheeler’s

Wheeler’s (Westbury) is a major regional and national provider of electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire and security services for both the commercial and domestic sectors. The Wheeler’s Group has a reputation for professional excellence and reliability, built up through more than 30 successful years of operation in the UK. Our organisation comprises:

  • Electrical and mechanical contractors Wheeler’s (Westbury)
  • Electrical and mechanical contractors Head & Robins
  • Electrical contractor Avron Electrical
  • Fire detection system specialist Wheeler’s Fire Protection