Bath Abbey’s community has successfully raised £500,000, which has been matched pound for pound by the Brownsword Charitable Foundation, to bring the grand total raised to £1 million – a significant contribution towards completing the Footprint project.
In 2017, The Brownsword Charitable Foundation pledged half a million pounds in match funding to the Abbey’s Footprint project, which over the years was triggered every time someone made a donation to the Footprint project. As a result, the match fund target has now been reached helping the Abbey to raise £1 million in total thanks to generous donations from the Abbey community, local businesses, individual donors and many more being match funded by the Brownsword Charitable Foundation
As part of the Footprint project, essential works have been carried out inside the Abbey to repair the collapsing floor and to install new underfloor eco-heating powered by Bath’s famous hot springs. Now that work inside the Abbey has finished, the final phase of the Footprint project will see the completion of building work along the south side of the Abbey to create space underground for new and improved facilities, as well as in the adjacent row of terrace houses in Kingston Buildings. Work is also being carried out on developing new learning resources, activities and events for sharing fascinating stories of the Abbey with local families, visitors and schoolchildren right up to mature students.
The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Brownswords for their significant generosity to the Footprint project. When it launched, the Brownswords’ match fund was vital in kick-starting our fundraising appeal. Now that we’re very close to the project’s completion, this million pounds in funding has given us another massive boost adding new impetus to the work during these final crucial stages. We also owe a huge thanks to everyone who’s donated to the Footprint project over the years, as every pound they’ve given has helped us get to this point. Thanks to you all and to the Brownswords’ match fund, we are able to continue to care for our beautiful heritage, those we serve in the community and to improve our hospitality, worship and service to the city.”
Andrew and Christina Brownsword of the Brownsword Charitable Foundation are well known in Bath for their generous philanthropy to various charities and good causes.
Andrew Brownsword said: “We’re delighted that the match fund target of £1 million has been achieved. The reason for establishing the match fund in the first place was because we recognised what a ground-breaking project Footprint was and its significance to the city, and we’re very pleased to have been able to help inspire others to support this once-in-a-lifetime project. It has also been a pleasure to see what amazing progress has been made. Since our last visit, the historic floor has been restored fully, an eco-heating system using energy from Bath’s hot springs has been installed and the new facilities, underground spaces and interpretation programme are starting to take shape. Like many others, we simply cannot wait to be back in the Abbey again once the Footprint work is fully complete and its full programme of events and services resume.”
The Abbey’s Footprint project is a £19.3 million programme of work, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, that will provide new spaces for learning, music and interpretation, better visitor facilities, undertake essential conservation work, as well as opportunities for volunteer and community involvement. It will secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its hospitality, worship and service to the city. More information can be found on our website: www.bathabbey.org. If you would like to know more about the Footprint Project, please visit www.bathabbey.org/footprint