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A free afternoon of fun at Sydney Gardens Gala

The loggia at Sydney GArdens

An afternoon of free family fun, music, circus and spectacle is being held at Bath’s Sydney Gardens on Sunday 23 October from 1pm to 5pm to celebrate the completion of the Gardens Restoration Project.

£3.4m has been spent over the past three years restoring and conserving the historic buildings and gardens, improving the landscape and providing new visitor facilities at the former Georgian Pleasure Gardens.

The project has been a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Parks & Open Spaces Team and the Friends of Sydney Gardens with The National Lottery Heritage Fund providing the majority of funding with a £2.75million grant.

Councillor Kevin Guy, council Leader, said: “Sydney Gardens is a real gem in the heart of Bath. It’s one of the few remaining Georgian Pleasure Gardens in the country and the restoration project has been a true labour of love for all those involved. Historic features including the Loggia and Minerva’s Temple have been restored, lots of work to conserve wildlife has been carried out, the tennis courts have been refurbished and new facilities including a Community Pavilion and boules terrain have been created. It’s now time to celebrate all that’s been achieved!”

The Gardens will be formally opened by representatives from the council and the Heritage Fund ahead of the family fun afternoon on Sunday 23 October.

Stuart McLeod, Director England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re thrilled to celebrate the completion of the restoration of Sydney Gardens, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The project has transformed this space and particularly the historically important Georgian Pleasure Gardens. With community at the heart of the restoration, this ensures that Sydney Gardens will be enjoyed by visitors and its local community for many years to come.”

Throughout the gala afternoon, the Gardens will be alive with performances and activities in the true tradition of Georgian Pleasure Gardens.

Visitors will be able to see the locally based Rainbow Steel Band, Bath Classical Musicians Trio and Morris Dancing. Bring a picnic and listen to some wonderful music.

Sparklin’ Sorcha & Juggling Jim will entertain you with fire-eating, juggling and stilt-walking. You’ll be able to try your hand at petanque and hula-hoop and ‘Go to the Loo’ on a special tour of the rare and restored cast iron toilets (booking essential visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/friends-of-sydney-gardens-40890784773)

There’s a new play area to explore and there’ll also be ribbon wand-making, Clay-tastic Creatures with the Holburne, donkey rides, a fire engine on show and a Forest School especially for children. There’ll be stalls with inventive activities for the whole family in archaeology, astronomy, beekeeping, local heritage and more.

If you need a breather, take part in a wellness workshop or wander the quiet areas of the Gardens and take a look at the new planting and works to preserve and enhance this special space for future generations to enjoy.  

Installation of the Changing Places facility within the refurbished toilet block at Sydney Gardens was funded by more than £41,000 from the Bath Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The restoration of the Edwardian iron WC was also supported by £5,000 from the World Heritage Enhancement Fund.

The event was postponed from September 11 due to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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