Residents' ideas wanted as building work starts on new Combe Down heritage centre
A public meeting has been called to gather ideas for a new heritage centre in Combe Down.
Work has started on the centre which will reflect the mining heritage of the area that provided Bath with much of its building stone.
The design and size of the centre at the old Ralph Allen Yard has proved controversial with some residents, who fear the new housing which comes with it will cause traffic problems.
The old industrial site and onetime entrance to the stone quarries is making way for a development that will include the new heritage and information centre together with a group of houses.
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Most of the original stone and other features will be incorporated into the new building work, along with systems for heating, lighting and ventilation which minimise their environmental impact.
The Stone Legacy Trust, an organisation of local people, will run the centre and work in partnership with Bath Spa University and schools from the area to develop an education programme.
The aim is to keep alive the story of the celebrated entrepreneur Ralph Allen and the contribution the stone workings made to the building of Bath.
Also featured will be the recent extraordinary engineering feat of stabilising the disused mines and the ongoing importance of stone as a building material and to the preservation of Bath.
Trust chairman Richard Read said: "The story of Combe Down, like that of Bath itself, goes back to Roman times, but it mustn't just end there in the history books. It is crucial that we see this as constantly evolving in our lifetime."
The centre will also offer a versatile meeting space for a wide variety of uses including exhibitions, seminars, club and society meetings, film shows, private and group study and even exercise classes.
Mr Read added: "It is now at this early stage of development that the wider community of Bath residents are most welcome to come and share the vision and play their part in this future heritage."
A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 7.30pm in the main hall at Combe Down Primary School, Summer Lane, at which the initial plans for the centre will be presented, and potential users are invited to contribute their ideas.
All are welcome.
If you cannot attend and would like to be on an email mailing list for future information on the centre, email firstname.lastname@example.org.