Vision for new city centre ‘fashion quarter’ with designer shops and creative studios unveiled by council

May 6, 2022

Ambitious plans to transform part of Bath city centre by attracting creative industries and relocating its Fashion Museum have been revealed.

A masterplan for the area, led by Bath & North East Somerset Council and funded by the West of England Combined Authority, details how the ‘top of the town’ could become a nationally renowned fashion destination centred on a range of high-end retailers and workspace for makers and creatives as well as the museum, which is currently in the Assembly Rooms. 

The Milsom Quarter masterplan – described by the council as a vision for the next 20 years – also includes 180 new homes in the area, which stretches from George Street in the north to Upper Borough Walls in the south, and west from Queen Square to the Cattlemarket car park.

Vacant spaces above shops will be repurposed to accommodate employment space, leisure and residential use, increasing the mix of uses and vibrancy in the area, while the area will also be a greener and pedestrian-friendly place to enjoy, with  a new public square at St Michael’s Church and restrictions on vehicle access in Green Street and Lower Broad Street, giving priority for walking and cycling.

Access would be maintained for public transport, for servicing and deliveries and for other exemptions. Although the council said, in the long term, it wanted to also remove buses from Milsom Street.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development and resources, Cllr Richard Samuel, said: “The Milsom Quarter Masterplan is an ambitious vision for the next chapter for this part of our city centre to ensure it has a positive future.

“To redevelop the area effectively we need to create opportunities for change, attracting a diverse mix of industries and retailers to Bath and increasing footfall.”

He said the combined authority’s Love our High Streets programme had shown that investing in the area increased footfall, through vibrant events such as the Great Bath Feast and the Christmas Light Trail, which brought more people into the city centre and led to new businesses opening their doors.

“We intend to secure a new home for the Fashion Museum in the Milsom Quarter so it can remain at the heart of the city and at the centre of what we hope will be a nationally renowned fashion destination, supporting local trade,” he added.

“To help make such a significant project a reality we’ll need feedback from residents and businesses.”

He said it was important individuals and businesses shared their views on how they wanted to see areas including Broad St car park, the Cattlemarket and King Edward’s School developed.

“Over the next few years, while the masterplan is developed, we’ll continue to invest in the public space with greening, on-street events and entertainment, providing a flavour of how the area will come to life in the future,” he added.

The Milsom Street Quarter masterplan recommends:

Milsom St and New Bond Street should remain an important location for fashion-led retail and will be home to an enhanced Fashion Museum

Broad Street Yards will be better connected to Milsom Street and Broad Street and will accommodate new-build contemporary space for the creative industries, workspace and visitor accommodation

St Michael’s Neighbourhood will become a growing residential neighbourhood with new development and conversions of upper floors of properties, supporting a range of local shopping and amenities at ground floor level. A new public square will also be created in front of St Michael’s Church.

Walcot Gateway will provide an improved entrance to Walcot Street, with a new frontage to the street and the redevelopment of the Cattlemarket site for housing

The consultation is open until 15 July.

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across the Bath area for just £75 a month. Email for more information.