Bath’s historic Milsom Street will be transformed this weekend (21-22 September) in an event that will allow the street to become car-free with a host of exciting activities for people of all ages to enjoy.
With more than 35 businesses taking part, Love Milsom Street will see the high street reimagined with a street garden complete with grass sofa, alfresco dining, pop-up bars, entertainment and in-store promotions.
The event is part of the Love Our High Streets project funded by the West of England Combined Authority that aims to reimagine and revitalise high streets across the region. The scheme seeks to test the merits of closing Milsom Street outside of the Christmas period. To carry out the closure Bath & North East Somerset Council has worked with local businesses, Bath BID, Visit Bath and local landlords.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “This is a great example of how our Love our High Streets project is helping to revitalise local communities by giving high streets a real boost. Making Milsom Street a vehicle-free zone for the weekend also supports our ambitions to secure clean growth to benefit all our residents, as set out in our Local Industrial Strategy. This is another example of how the West of England Combined Authority is making a difference in our communities.”
The street garden will feature a pop-up coffee shop, mini parks the size of a single car parking space known as ‘parklets’, a grass sofa and trees. The parklets have been loaned by Vestre, a sustainable urban street furniture company, and will be planted by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s parks department with support from community group Wild Walcot.
Entertainment and promotions on retail goods, food and drink will be running throughout the weekend. For children, Bath Children’s Literature Festival will be attending alongside Super Pirates on Saturday. Face painting will be available.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Love Milsom Street is a remarkable event for which the business community has pulled together with all our partners to celebrate one of our city’s most distinctive streets. We are excited to be reinstating Milsom Gardens, the land on which the street was built, by transforming part of the road into a garden. I hope the event will draw people in to enjoy what Milsom Street has to offer, on this special weekend and in the future.”
Love Milsom Street will also see Bath join cities across the world to celebrate international car-free day on 22 September, as well as participating in European Mobility Week.
Councillor Joanna Wright, cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “This car-free celebration of Milsom Street highlights the environmental benefits of restricting traffic, especially as it coincides with international car free day and EU Mobility Week. We will be monitoring traffic across the city, pollution levels and data on sales and footfall to understand the impacts of the event.”
Parking will be suspended from Milsom Street at 6pm on Friday 20 September and the road closed at 5am on Saturday 21 September. The nearest blue badge parking bays are located on New Bond Street. Lansdown Park and Ride will be relocated to Queen Square. The nearest public car parks are Broad Street, The Podium, Cattle Market and Charlotte Street, all within a 10 minute walk of Milsom Street.