Artful idea

Somebody at the Guildhall must have been listening when l urged B&NES to promote culture as well as heritage to both help Bath attract back its visitors and play a part in revitalising the High Street.

Hey presto – a press release pops up on my screen detailing what it calls – “A project to bring fine art and theatre performance to vacant shop units in Bath and help reinvigorate the city centre.”

It then mentions In The Meanwhile a programme of creative activity l have already featured which has been doing its bit to breathe new life into temporarily empty shop spaces at 17/18 Milsom Street and Milsom Place through art exhibitions, robotics and street theatre.

Their project runs until the end of June and has been organised by Bath Spa University in partnership with community interest company Little Lost Robot – working with Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Ramshacklicious Theatre Company performing until June 13.

Following an art exhibition held during May, the Ramshacklicious Theatre Company is currently using the spaces for its performances until June 13. Little Lost Robot will then take over the project to showcase their fusion of art and robotics until June 27.

In The Meanwhile is part of the council’s Vacant Units Action Project under its High Streets Renewal programme. The project was awarded £500,000 from the West of England Combined Authority’s Recovery Fund. Alongside this, further match funding and in-kind support has been provided by the council and Bath BID.

Councillor Richard Samuel, deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development & Resources, said: “This project supports the council’s ambition to reinvigorate spaces that have become empty due to Covid-19 and make them vibrant and engaging. Working with local artists, students and creatives, In The Meanwhile is bringing a splash of colour and interest to the city centre as we continue to welcome people back to Bath.”

West of England Metro Mayor, Dan Norris.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’d urge local people to pop into this creative space. What a good way to fill a vacant shop. Now there’s another fantastic reason to visit Milsom Street. Initiatives like this are important as we recover from the pandemic, which is why I’m keen to get behind great ideas to get more people visiting high streets and shopping streets that are at the heart of our communities.” 

Full details, schedule and timings for In The Meanwhile are available on its Instagram page.

In the Meanwhile is supported by Little Lost Robot, Arts Council England, Bath Spa University, Bath School of Art, Bristol + Bath Creative R+D, The Studio, and BSU Careers and Employability Team, B&NES Council, West of England Combined Authority, Milsom Place and The Centre of Cultural and Creative Industries.