Bath’s economic future outlined by B&NES Deputy Leader

We’ll bounce back more quickly than many other cities from the trauma of the past year – says B&NES deputy leader Cllr Richard Samuel – but we’ve still got to try and balance our economy.

In a wide-ranging interview Cllr Samuel – who is cabinet member for economic development and resources – talked about revitalising the High Street, encouraging new revenue streams and getting pollution under control.

Bath – he says – has to get residents and visitors out of their cars.

I took him down to the top of the Avon Street car park – due for demolition as part of the biggest office-led development ever undertaken in the city and involving both south and north sides of the River Avon near Churchill Bridge.

Back in 2019 local estate agents were saying the Bath Quays enterprise zone was just what the city needed. A supply of good office space for local businesses to expand and to attract companies looking to relocate to Bath.

But – l asked Cllr Samuel – hadn’t the pandemic and working from home – taken the steam out of the office market? Was this big development a big mistake?