Bath Fest’s new home

THE Bath festivals’ team of 11, which runs the Bath Festival, Bath Children’s Literature Festival and year-round Creative Learning projects, has moved out of its headquarters in Bath Street into the Art Deco former cinema The Forum. The Grade II listed building makes a fantastic arts hub for the wider community to enjoy.

Bath Festival audiences have enjoyed concerts and events in the Forum’s magnificent auditorium over seven decades, featuring international artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, John Dankworth and Cleo Lain, Rufus Wainwright, Ute Lemper and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and writers JK Rowling, Hilary Mantel, Ted Hughes, Julia Donaldson and Michael Morpurgo. Next year’s big names include the great Patti Smith.

The Grade II-listed Forum opened in 1934 as an art deco super-cinema. It is operated by Bath Forum Ltd as a live music and entertainments venue in the heart of Bath, and is also the home of Life Church Bath which renovated the building and brought it back to life in the 1980s.

The auditorium seats up to 1,640 people and the building also has a ballroom and a ground floor cafe, both of which can be used for smaller events. Bath Festivals and Bath Forum Ltd will operate independently alongside each other but will also collaborate on welcoming audiences to a wide range of cultural events and activities.

Festivals chief executive Ian Stockley says the move will help to develop the value of the arts in the community and the partnership with the Forum will “create a visible cultural hub for the city and surrounding area with a dynamic that promotes the positive impact that the arts can have on people’s lives.”