Just in case you hadn’t noticed already, Bath is a big player in the heritage business. With Roman remains and fine Georgian architecture it’s no surprise to realise just how much of the city’s economy is based on tourism.
Under the umbrella of its coveted World Heritage status there are some multi-million pound projects underway to further enhance or indeed rescue some of its star attractions.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is enabling floor stabilising work and new facilities at Bath Abbey – while more millions will see new educational facilities, increased access and a World Heritage Centre installed at the Roman Baths.
Britain’s last remaining Georgian lido is going to be restored – after the Cleveland Pools Trust gets a welcome Christmas present from the HLF – and there was even more lottery money for the revitalisation of Sydney gardens too.
However, last night many of those in the local heritage business gathered to acknowledge a much more modest local body which is also doing its bit to repair and restore the historic urban fabric.
It’s known as the World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund and – with the help of an ‘army’ of volunteers and sympathetic private financial contributors – it’s been making its mark on Bath.
Bath Newseum was amongst those who gathered at the Museum of Bath Architecture to hear Professor Barry Gilbertson – Chair of the Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site Advisory Board – detail some of the projects the Enhancement Fund had supported last year.