The Quay to economic growth and job creation in Bath

Author
Ian Bell
Executive Director of Bath Chamber of Commerce and Initiative | Business West
12th May 2017

Recently when I spoke in favour of the Bath Quays South development, I thought our main opponents were the people who had turned up to the Development Control Committee with various objections to the proposal. But I was wrong. The real problem came after the planning application was approved, from the doom mongers who predicted the scheme will turn into a white elephant.

Whilst I quite often disagree with people who complain about the style and design of new buildings, I do at least respect their position and the sincere and passionately held views they hold. At least they are motivated by what they believe is best for Bath.

What is at least disappointing and at worst irritating are those who don’t get involved in the game but prefer to stand on the touchline and criticise. They can be really dangerous because there is a risk that potential investors take them seriously and then what they say becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, which will be to the benefit of no one.

I am not viewing this through rose coloured spectacles. I think it is regrettable that there is currently no anchor tenant. But surely it is right to create new, modern office space and massively improve a riverside eyesore. The Council should be applauded for pressing on and we should all play a part in making it a success.

Sad to say, negativity seems to be the default condition for far too many. When the plan for the Casino in Bath was first put forward there were cries of how terrible this was going to be. Well, take a stroll through Saw Close and you can see the building coming closer to completion in a major step which will completely rejuvenate that area of the City.

A short walk around the corner into James Street West and you will spot similar tremendous progress on the Apex building which will shortly become Bath’s biggest hotel, despite having to handle the usual moans and groans in the early stages.

So if anyone asks whether anything ever happens in Bath you can mention at least three obvious signs of modern activity, helping to drive economic growth, providing jobs for our young people and creating more reasons for people to come to visit the City both for business and pleasure.

You see, the glass really is half full – cheers!

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