Huge opportunity for riverside regeneration

8 March 2018

Stadium for Bath - the project that brings together Bath Rugby, Bath Rugby Foundation and Arena 1865 with the joint ambition of creating a new sport and community-focused destination in the heart of the city - is calling on you to have your say. 

Redevelopment of Bath Rugby’s current stadium is the catalyst for the project, which offers a unique and timely opportunity to regenerate the riverside in the heart of the city, adjacent to the Rec.

This important part of the city centre, which has been long overlooked has the potential to become a vibrant new leisure destination for residents and visitors of Bath, with the added opportunity for improving access to the area from the city centre.

Bath Rugby’s current stadium at the Rec has for years faced away from the city centre leaving little scope for public realm development. With the commencement of the Stadium for Bath project – which could see a new rugby stadium and community facilities created on the Rec – new life could also be breathed into the neglected river frontage.

The opportunity comes at a time when Bath is seeing investment in its riverside areas, creating new business hubs, new homes and new public spaces adjacent to one of the city’s greatest assets – the River Avon. The Bath Quays and Bath Riverside developments are two such projects that when complete will breathe new life into once forgotten parts of the city.

Tarquin McDonald, Chief Executive of Bath Rugby, believes that there is an opportunity to create an exceptional new riverside as part of the Stadium for Bath project and is inviting the people of Bath to have their say.

“Over the past 12-months we’ve been consulting extensively with neighbours and many people across Bath and the resounding feedback has been a sense of optimism and excitement about the opportunity for creating something exceptional in the heart of this unique city.

“Over the coming months, we will be accelerating the design process not only for the new stadium but for the riverside too.  We want people to share with us their aspirations for the area which is such an important part of the city, with the opportunity be a jewel in the city’s crown. We would love to see ideas and examples from around the world of truly great riverside regeneration to help us create a place that can be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come.”

To spark the debate, Grimshaw, lead architects on the Stadium for Bath project have provided six examples of riverside regeneration projects from around the world. You can download them by clicking here.

Granary square & canal side: London, UK – this development has acted as a regeneration catalyst in the wider Kings Cross area and has been a key factor for establishing Kings Cross as a cultural and creative hub

Rhone River Banks: Lyon, France: The design consideration for this development was to prevent flooding alongside providing a sensitive approach towards sustainability. The project has, in turn, created a high-quality ecosystem for wildlife.

Cheonggyecheon River Park Seoul, South Korea: This project’s sustainability approach has 
increased local biodiversity and improved the public transit ridership and the downtown quality of life.

Paprocany Waterfront Tychy, Poland: The different levels offer various ways of navigation and appreciation of views. The play element embodied in the design links with the wider context of play and recreation activities for the area.

Hafen City Hamburg, Germany: Here local materiality has been retained so that the development fits seamlessly into the landscape. There is also a retail and leisure component.

Parade & Canal Square Kilkenny, Ireland: The parade connects the 13th Century Castle to the High Street. Georgian facades and mature trees sit along the path complimenting the area’s heritage.

Members of the public are invited to share their views on these projects as well as their ideas and aspirations for riverside regeneration in Bath via social media @stadiumforbath using the #BathRiverRegen. If you do not have access to social media, you can also share your thoughts via email –

Grimshaw has also provided a selection of potential river activities and a wider selection of riverside development projects to open the debate up even further.

Tarquin McDonald concluded; “It might sound surprising, but we want these examples, provided by Grimshaw, to divide opinion. We want them to have the ‘Marmite effect’ because this way we will know what the people of Bath definitely do, and more importantly, definitely don’t, want to see in the designs Grimshaw bring forward.  There is a unique opportunity to transform a core part of our city into something truly amazing and I firmly believe that we will get this right if we all work together.

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