Be part of shaping a new future of the Bath Assembly Rooms

Published : Tue 22nd Nov

It’s an exciting time for the Bath Assembly Rooms. This Grade I-listed building, known for music, parties, dancing and entertainment during Bath’s Georgian era, returns to National Trust management in 2023. We’re currently developing an exciting, new visitor experience to interpret this important building and are creating two important new roles; Senior Visitor Experience Officer and Senior Volunteering and Community Officer, to support this work and develop a programme of visitor access, partnership events, community engagement and participation.

The roles will join the growing property team whose focus over the next two years is to open Bath Assembly Rooms for ‘meanwhile’ uses as plans are developed and delivered for the future visitor attraction. By supporting the active use of the building during this period, these roles will help shape the future visitor operation.

Alana Wright, Experience and Visitor Programming Manager, and Hannah Kemp, Volunteering and Community Manager, have shared more about these roles and how they’ll shape the future of Bath Assembly Rooms.

Alana Wright, Experience and Visitor Programming Manager:

What do you think makes the Bath Assembly Rooms an interesting project to work on?

What excites me most about Bath Assembly Rooms is that they were literally built to bring people together and a be a space where they could enjoy shared experiences. That kind of connection is so universal that it gives us an incredible opportunity to be really creative in the ways we engage with people going forward, thinking about the parallels between the ways people gathered in the 18th century, and today in the 21st century.

What is the current plan for reopening the space?

Over the next few years, we want to be working with our partners and local community to try new things in the space and use what we learn to inform our future plans for the Rooms. As we develop our relationships within the city, we want to ensure tour audiences and communities have a voice in the way we open Bath Assembly Rooms, and that everyone feels welcome and enjoys access to this amazing building.

How will these two new roles support that vision?

My main aim for the next few years is that we keep the Assembly Rooms as open as we possibly can. That could be through events run in partnership with other organisations (for example Bath Festivals and Forest of Imagination) or guided tours that explore parts of the building which historically haven’t been open to visitors.

I’m looking for these two new roles to help me, and the rest of the team, achieve that aim, and what’s exciting is that we have the chance to really be bold and try new things.

What type of responsibilities will the new roles have?

We’re expecting that we’ll need to do some building work over the next few years and it will be an interesting challenge to explore how we still enable visitor access during that work.

The new Senior Visitor Experience Officer will be heavily involved in the operational side of this and I’d love if they were able to bring a creative approach to the table. Meanwhile the new Senior Volunteering and Community Officer will be helping facilitate community activity both within the Rooms and elsewhere in the city.

For both roles we’ll be looking for people with great people skills and enthusiasm for working with visitors and communities. We want the people who take the roles on to work closely together, with support from the wider team, to build a culture of collaboration and an experience that works for visitors and our local communities.

Hannah Kemp, Volunteering and Community Manager:

How did you get involved with the Bath Assembly Rooms project?

I started working for the National Trust just over a year ago and a big part of the appeal was being part of the Bath Assembly Rooms project. It’s an iconic building with a rich history and a lot of fascinating stories connected to it. I’m also a Jane Austen fan, which definitely helped, and I can still vividly remember my first walk around the Rooms.

Why is now a good time to join the team?

We’ve currently expanding our team which is always an exciting time as you have new personalities and new perspectives adding to the vision, but even more so when we’re a few short months from taking on the building. It’s a great time to join the team as everyone will be learning together. Alana and I decided to advertise, recruit and train the new Senior Visitor Experience Officer and Senior Volunteering and Community Officer together as we want these roles to be very collaborative.

What will be interesting about working on this project?

This is a slightly different venture from the usual National Trust property. It’s a city-centre location so there’s a huge amount of potential for engaging people locally. We don’t have a large collection of objects, so there’s more freedom and flexibility to do things a bit differently inside. Rather than the story of a family home, we’re exploring the stories of a people and society, and what that means to us today.

Who would suit the role?

I’d love to see someone who is as excited as we are to involve local communities in bringing these incredible spaces to life, both during the years of development and when the experience is installed.

It's a varied role, so someone who is well organised, creative and enjoys getting involved is a must. As someone fairly new to the area, I’d like to have someone on the team with that kind of special local knowledge you have when you’re familiar with a place and its people. After all, that’s what the Bath Assembly Rooms is all about.

If you’re interested in bringing your skills to the Bath Assembly Rooms, you can find out more about each role and start your application at the relevant link below: 

Senior Visitor Experience Officer

Senior Volunteering &  Community Officer