Bath Preservation Trust was founded in 1934 as a small pressure group, with the object of protecting the city’s unique architectural heritage. Its first action was to fight plans to pull down parts of the picturesque Georgian city of Bath, England, to make way for a new road. The road was never built. Since this victory, the Trust has saved hundreds more listed buildings from demolition, and has successfully confronted many similar threats to the city. Today the Trust has approximately 1,400 subscribing members from the UK and overseas supporting its work.
The Trust exists “to preserve for the benefit of the public the historic character and amenities of the city of Bath and its surroundings”. The city of Bath has been accorded the status of a World Heritage Site, recognised as a place of outstanding universal significance for its rare visual integrity, its 18th century architectural quality and its landscape setting which forms a magnificent backdrop to the city’s architecture. In a city with such a wealth of heritage there are inevitably difficult challenges to be faced in reconciling the demands of a modern thriving city alongside the exceptional level of conservation care demanded in a World Heritage Site. The 21st century has brought with it the added pressures of encroachment to the city’s green belt setting. The role and influence of the Trust is needed as much now as ever before.
The Trust believes the preservation of the unique qualities of the city and its environs is vital to the city’s success in creating and maintaining a sustainable and buoyant economy for the future. Much of the Trust’s work involves lobbying and negotiating with those whose decisions determine the city’s future, inspecting and responding on all planning applications in the conservation area and to listed building consent applications, providing expert witnesses at planning meetings and public inquiries. Since 1996 the Trust has remained the sole grant provider in the city, offering grants to owners of listed buildings to reinstate or repair lost, damaged or vulnerable architectural features.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
The Trust owns and runs museums and educational activities at No. 1 Royal Crescent, The Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel and Beckford’s Tower, and is a trustee of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, all of which have been restored by the Trust and provide a valuable resource for the city and its visitors.
The Bath Preservation Trust is an independent charity, registered with the Charity Commission of England & Wales, and is a company limited by guarantee. It has a voluntary Chairman and board of Trustees, approximately ten permanent staff and 1,400 subscribing members. With prudent management the Trust is financially self-sufficient and independent of any controlling agency; a unique position for a heritage organization to hold within the UK.
Bath Preservation Trust, 1 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LR, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1225 338727 Fax: +44 (0)1225 481850
Registered in England No. 294789
Charity No. 203048
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