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Future plans for Bath Assembly Rooms

Aquatint print of Assembly Rooms, Bath by John Claude Nattes (Ireland c.1765 - London 1822)
Print of Bath Assembly Rooms by John Claude Nattes | © National Trust / Simon Harris

We’re delighted to be looking after the historic Bath Assembly Rooms as we begin to build a new Georgian experience that will reveal stories of its social life in a way that is tangible and exciting.

The National Trust has owned Bath Assembly Rooms since 1931 and in March 2023 took on the day to day management of this historic building. Work is underway to create an experience that will transport visitors back to the social scene of Georgian Bath in the late eighteenth-century, whilst remaining open during this transition as much as possible.

Our ambition for the future

The Assembly Rooms are a significant part of the World Heritage Site of Bath and our ambition is to explore the important role they played in society, and what that means to us today, while celebrating its beauty and splendour.

We plan to create an experience that will transport our visitors to Georgian Bath, while exploring the role that the Assembly Rooms can play in the city today.

Our ambitious plans include reducing the carbon footprint of the building, adding air source heat pumps, solar panels and a new electricity substation to reduce the use of fossil fuels. These plans were outlined in a planning application in January 2024 for which a decision is still pending. The plans included a new staircase to replace the current post-war construction, a lift to all floors and a changing places toilet which will help us reach our goals of enabling access for everyone. At this point we estimate the project to cost in excess of £17million and we'll be looking for external support to help realise this vision.

'While we await the outcome of the planning application, the project team are focussed on the less tangible aspects, researching the stories of the space in its Georgian heyday to share with future visitors and working with many community groups to explore how they’d like the rooms to function as a space within 21st-century Bath.’

- Tom Boden, National Trust General Manager for the Bath Portfolio

The next few years at the Bath Assembly Rooms

Between now and opening we’ll be uncovering the history of the building, testing and finalising our plans and undertaking building works. We hope to open the new visitor offer in 2026.

During this time we will open the rooms whenever possible, with behind-the-scenes tours to share the ongoing work and through partnership events. We'll be sharing the stories we uncover and gathering feedback on our plans for the future.

We are also working with partner organisations to see how the rooms can be used for public benefit during this period.

Find out what's on at the Bath Assembly Rooms here.

Georgian chandeliers in the café at Bath Assembly Rooms, Bath
Georgian chandeliers at the Bath Assembly Rooms | © National Trust Images/ Dawn Biggs

What's going on behind the scenes

We're busy working with creative colleagues, partner organisations and the local community to develop an exciting and relevant future for the building.

Research and historical records are underpinning our decisions to ensure the full story of Bath Assembly Rooms can be enjoyed by everyone.

Through engaging communities and local groups, we want to make sure the Bath Assembly Rooms provide inclusive experiences and various ways people can get involved, including volunteering and programming opportunities.

Project timeline

March 2024

Basement works complete and hard hat tours return

Contractors finished onsite after stripping back walls and ceilings in the basement to reveal the original architecture. With the work finished we launched the start of specialist event tours with the behind-the-scenes hard hat tours.

Looking through an archway to a tour group in the basement.
A hard hat tour in the basement, Bath Assembly Rooms | © National Trust/Ruth Newell
Close up of chandelier during conservation work at Bath Assembly Rooms, Bath

Bath Assembly Room's collections

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at the Assembly Rooms on the National Trust Collections website.

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