What next for King Edward’s?

The final Cabinet meeting held by the outgoing council ahead of the 2023 local elections included discussion of a paper on “issues regarding the Milsom Quarter Masterplan delivery”. TARA engaged extensively with council officers during the 2022 Draft Milsom Quarter Masterplan consultation (a summary of our submitted response can be found here) and this paper provided an update on one of the key concerns we highlighted during the consultation, namely the fate of the empty and decaying King Edward’s School building on Broad Street. 

This has been a sore thumb for decades and a subject of great to concern to TARA members over the years. It’s a long and protracted story, the details of which are available elsewhere, but as things stand this historic, Grade 2 listed building (which has long had planning consent for conversion into a hotel/restaurant) remains empty and with an owner (Samuel Smith’s brewery) with apparently no interest in doing anything about bringing it back into use. Or so it would seem. 

The council’s paper referred to an Appendix detailing “Intervention Options” but this had been exempted from open publication for commercial sensitivity reasons. However, a summary of the options was provided in the paper and, in conclusion, the cabinet adopted the following resolution:  

(a) To assist in expediting the delivery of a suitable scheme for the King Edward’s School building to bring it back into use;
(b) To safeguard its listed building status;
(c) To ensure that the building makes a positive contribution to the broader regeneration of Milsom Quarter and Bath city centre in general;
(d)  To avoid excessive cost and risk for the Council.
(e)  Officers are requested to produce a public report on the internal and external condition of the building for consideration at the next scheduled meeting of the Cabinet.

TARA will enquire again following the “next scheduled meeting of the Cabinet” which will be at some point after the May 2023 local elections.