MAY 15, 2023

By Harry Mottram

Beer news: Brewer Abbey Ales in Bath have won plaudits at this year’s Taste of Bath awards. The prizes were for Abbey’s bottled range.
The brewery started in 1997 and won Bath CAMRA Pub of the Year 22 for their Brewery Tap pub the Star Inn on the Paragon.
The brewery’s other pubs in town are the Assembly Inn in Alfred Street and Bath’s smallest pub the Coeur De Lion.
Retail News: Cothing retailer Hollister has reopened its doors at SouthGate Bath following an extensive refurbishment.
There is a fresh new exterior, with a light blue façade and improved window displays to showcase the latest styles across apparel, accessories, and fragrance say the firm.
The refresh also includes the installation of free WiFi
Guy Henderson, centre manager at SouthGate Bath, said: “We’re pleased to see the transformation of Hollister – it’s long been a popular store for customers, and it’s great to see shoppers enjoying the new look space.
“The revamp is one of a number of exciting new developments at SouthGate Bath this year and we’re looking forward to being able to share more updates with customers in the coming months.”
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Legal News: Legal outfit Mogers Drewett has acquired Bath-based boutique private client practice firm Freemans Solicitors after its founder Shaun Freeman decided to retire.
Mogers Drewett also has offices in Wells and Sherborne.
Doughnut News: The London firm Crosstown who are famed for selling doughnuts have opened a branch in Cheap Street.
Not be confused with a Glen Miller song of the same name Crosstown have branches outside the capital in Cambridge and Bristol.
Founded in 2014 the bakery is known for its delivery to outside functions such as weddings or to offices and has moved increasingly into shops and what it calls ‘hubs’.
Hotel News: the Royal Crescent Hotel has had a make-over for its restaurant and bar space.
Montagu’s Mews has reopened following a refurbishment with a new ‘heated dining terrace’.
Also having a face lift is All Bar One on the High Street after an extended closure for a spruse up.
Bath Rugby Rec News: This month Bath Rugby are set to reveal their plans to develop the ground at the Recreation Ground.
The plans will be posted on May 6th on the club’s website and on public display at Widcombe Social Club ahead of being sent to Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) Council.
The club said in a statement: “The previous scheme shared pre-pandemic, has evolved and the project team are looking forward to sharing the stadium’s designs and benefits.
“As part of the redevelopment, the public riverside space to the West of The Rec will be widened creating a more inviting and usable space, on matchdays and non-matchdays, and the structure itself will allow for greater community use. Sustainability and environmentally friendly materials are key to the new proposals. The proposed capacity of the stadium will increase to 18,000 with increased provision for accessibility needs, as well as providing a new permanent home for Bath Rugby Foundation.”
There will be intense interest in the plans considering the contentious subject in the past.
Firstly there’s the issue of public access. Since 2015 the Rec is owned and operated by The Recreation Ground Trust which also runs The Glasshouse Academy Grounds and the Broadmoor Lane Orchard and Play Park. The Rec was created in 1894 as an open access space for the people of Bath to play sport and to exercise and relax.
The issue of open access has meant the East Stand of the rugby ground has to be temporary so the pitch is essentially a public park in the summer.
A number of schemes have been put forward in the past but a final solution to what many see as a conundrum as there doesn’t seem an obvious solution – other than Bath RFC upping sticks and moving to a new ground. That has always been unlikely as the setting is one of the reasons Bath Rugby has such a pull. Match days also generate a huge boost to trade in the city.
Residents who live nearby have had issues with the noise and general disruption on match days and so they will be interested to see the proposals.
Ever since Rugby Union became fully professional the numbers of fans following the game nationally has increased. At the same time clubs have large numbers of players to pay in the new era and so ticket prices have increased, so there’s pressure to increase stadium sizes and revenue streams such as hospitality have become vital for all clubs.
And so it’s eyes down on May 6th when the proposals are published. See:

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