Recreation Ground

Update: In December the Trust responded to Bath Rugby’s applications for the demolition of the existing West Stand and the temporary installation of a larger West Stand.  You can read our response here: The Rec 2015

The Recreation Ground

The Recreation Ground is a green open space in the centre of Bath which is held in trust for use ‘for outdoor recreation’. Bath Rugby has occupied part of the site since its inception in the 19th Century. Since the professionalization of rugby in the 1990s, there have been anomalies in the occupation of the Rec by the commercial company, as well as an outstanding anomaly relating to the Leisure Centre, which offers indoor rather than outdoor recreation. In December 2012 the Charity Commission issued a Scheme to rectify these anomalies. This Scheme, which was proposed by the Recreation Ground Trust, proposes a land swap to allow Bath Rugby to continue their occupation of part of the Rec.

Bath Preservation Trust has responded to the consultation on this Scheme and awaits the outcome, but the trusts general position can be seen in the Trustees’ 2009 statement below.

The Trust formally responded to the public consultation conducted by B&NES in 2011. Our response recognises the need to regularise the legal position of the land on the Recreation Ground, without which progress cannot be made to improve this amenity for Bath. This was referred to in the BPT’s interim statement on the Rec in 2009.

However, a number of issues relating to the 2011 consultation which concern us;

• There was no territorial analysis of responses to the consultation questionnaire.

• We believe that the consultation document was too compressed for clarity, both physically and in content.

• There is mention of alteration of the objects of the Rec Trust, but no mention of the opportunity to modify its governance.

• We do not believe that the table in Appendix 4 covers all the relevant comparisons.

• We are concerned that this scheme proposes a layout which does not address the physical inadequacies of the existing Leisure Centre and its potential limited shelf life. And, thus, it does not address the real need for a masterplan for the whole site.

We have submitted a detailed supplement to our online consultation response. Which can be downloaded here .


The Trust’s response to the 2007 online survey can be downloaded here .

Trustees’ statement 2009

Over the summer of 2009 the Trustees heard from all interested parties in relation to the current situation at the Bath Recreation Ground. At the Trustees’ meeting at the end of September they agreed a position statement reflecting the current position of the Trust which in the judgement of the Trustees reflected most appropriately the views they had heard, including from members. This takes into account the fact that there are as yet no firm plans and that it is a moving situation. Members continue to be invited to make their views known via email at

You can read the full position statement here.

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