Bath ‘cultural hub’ seeks to widen its appeal.

The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) has been awarded a grant to help it research ways to widen its appeal.

It’s been given £36,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund which will enable BRLSI to undertake two vital projects.

The first being a review of Governance and Organisation with an eye toward being fit for the future and meeting aspirations to ‘Open up the BRLSI’. BRLSI is particularly keen to identify the skills and practices needed for its future development and especially wishes to recognize the large role of its many hundreds of members and volunteers that contribute to their success.

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The grant will enable BRLSI to be better prepared to carry out its mission, review its volunteering framework and where appropriate propose changes that will strengthen our total workforce and build and sustain collaboration with other like organizations.

The money will also allow BRLSI to develop its ambitious Business Plans to broaden our audiences and reach out to people who are curious about the world. Key to this will be preserving, developing, interpreting and sharing the amazing museum, library and archive collections whilst at the same time continuing to deliver stimulating range of activities, including talks, outreach, exhibitions, displays, research and publications

Most importantly the grant will provide an opportunity to assess the training needs for up to 30 staff and volunteers and to actually provide for some external training and mentoring specifically with respect to taking forward our exciting programmes and ambitions.

BRLSI is currently in the process of selecting external consultants to assist with the tasks to be achieved under the terms of the grant. Progress reports will be made at various intervals during the course of the external funding and the expected completion date is in the next 12 months.

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Many Bath residents won’t be aware that in the war, the Grade 1 Listed building in Queen Square was requisitioned by the Admiralty and then became the Bath reference library. It was in 1993 that BRLSI was re-launched with plans to carefully conserve the unique historical collection and become a cultural hub in Bath offering lectures, workshops and other activities for people of all ages.

Numerous local groups and educational organizations use the BRLSI for meetings, public forums and training and BRLSI itself sponsors over 130 talks per years plus annual exhibitions.

Chris Garcia, BRLSI Director and head of Fundraising, said that “we are delighted to receive this grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund which will enable BRLSI to assess its resources and set in motion the change necessary to be a vibrant 21st century Institution. Our Vision is to be a world class charity, inspiring people to learn about Bath and the world beyond.”

BRLSI says its pleased to have been awarded this grant at this critical time in the life of the Institution and in view of the extent of change especially with regard to digital communication and other technological opportunities. Having the opportunity to employ professions to give careful scrutiny to BRLSI’s expanding initiatives and operations should enhance BRLSI’s role in the local community and to enable it to widen its audiences.