A big boost for Bath Abbey’s Footprint project has been announced with an award of £50,000 from Allchurches Trust, one of the UK’s largest grant-giving charities.
The grant will help towards two elements of the Abbey’s project; renovating the old Abbey offices in Kingston Buildings and installing an eco-heating system that will use the energy from Bath’s famous hot springs.
Underpinning Bath Abbey and the new spaces created by Footprint is the innovative heating, hot water and renewable energy equipment, which will ensure the Abbey is supported by efficient and environmentally sustainable systems.
Using cutting-edge technology to harness sustainable energy from Bath’s hot springs, the new heat extraction system will contribute approximately 480,000kWhs of energy, which represents a carbon saving of nearly 60%.
The former Abbey offices in Kingston Buildings will be fully renovated and will now also include a new Song School for the Abbey Choirs, local music groups and other musicians, and a dedicated room for volunteers, all of which will now be fully accessible thanks to new lifts and disabled toilets as part of the funding from Allchurches Trust.
Allchurches Trust also provided funding towards the Footprint project in 2016 with a £50,000 grant. The purpose of Allchurches Trust is to fund projects which support the repair and restoration of churches and cathedrals as well as enabling people and communities to thrive.
The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “We are extremely grateful to Allchurches Trust for their generous £50,000 grant. By funding this part of our Footprint project, Allchurches Trust is enabling a dynamic hub for the Abbey’s ministry at the heart of our city, which will benefit locals and visitors for many generations to come.
The spiritual, social and environmental transformation made possible by Footprint’s Kingston Buildings development and the new heating, hot water and energy systems will offer great benefit, through both inspiring, newly accessible spaces and through impactful environmental stewardship.”
Allchurches Trust Grants Officer, Paul Playford, said: “Bath Abbey is one of the UK’s most iconic and important historic buildings, attracting more than 400,000 visitors a year, but it is also hugely important to local people, serving a city of 85,000 people. Our funding for the innovative Footprint project will enable the Abbey to reach out and support its community even more effectively, and we’re particularly delighted that our most recent grant will be invested in providing a new Song School and in reducing the Abbey’s carbon footprint thanks to energy from Bath’s natural hot springs.”
The Footprint project is a £19.3 million programme of restoration, building works and interpretation that will secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its hospitality, worship and service to the city. The Abbey continues to remain open as usual during the Footprint project with ‘Behind the Scenes’ tours offering a chance to see the work taking place. To find out more about Footprint see: www.bathabbey.org/footprint.