Bath Abbey’s Footprint Project is something Bath Newseum has been following from day one.
Way back in the spring of 2018 a Heritage Lottery supported, multi-million pound programme of works got underway to stabilise the church’s collapsing floor and introduce a new heating system – using thermal energy from the city’s hot springs.
The Footprint Project – as it was called – also set out to create a new Song School for the Abbey’s choirs, a history-telling and hi-tech Discovery Centre and a new learning space for school children.
The new pew-free body of the church will be much more adaptable to big events – be it concerts or conferences – and the new facilities provide a small commercial kitchen to cater for such gatherings. There will be a much bigger shop to come on line too.
However, l have to say, amongst the new facilities the one addition to the Abbey’s delights – and historically for the first time l think – the provision of public toilets for the able and disabled.
Whilst, with much of what has been created hidden from view in the revamped vaults beneath the church and nearby streets and buildings, access to these below street level delights can be also by stairs and lifts.
I was given the chance of taking a look for myself – in the company of Project Director Nathan Ward who also agreed to let me do a video chat – when we arrived back in the Abbey itself – where construction work is still underway at the liturgical east end of the building.