The Bath Pilot Maintenance Scheme
Maintain our Heritage originated, developed and undertook a pilot maintenance inspection service in the Bath Area in 2002-03, the first maintenance inspection service for historic buildings in the UK.
The service was inspired by the example provided by the Monumentenwacht in the Netherlands, which has since been successfully replicated in the Flanders region of Belgium.
The Pilot was aimed at testing whether it was practically, technically and legally possible to establish and operate such a service. A wide range of historic buildings was inspected and owners were provided with illustrated reports setting out maintenance action priorities. Some maintenance work, such as clearing gutters and first-aid repairs to flashings, was done in the course of inspections.
The Pilot was grant-aided by the Bath Preservation Trust, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and English Heritage who were keen to see the innovative trial take place and for the experience to be disseminated.
The Pilot was a success in demonstrating that such a service was practical, technically and legally possible. The main challenge was, as foreseen, the cost of the service and the willingness of building owners to pay. Valuable lessons were learnt that informed similar emerging initiatives in the UK and should be central to the development of a national maintenance strategy.
The Pilot scheme was popular among churches near Bath and this led directly to the creation of the GutterClear service for places of worship in the Diocese of Gloucester.
Click here to see the Pilot Report, in pdf format. It sets out the main facts, reviews what happened against the aims and summarises the evaluation carried out. It begins to draw conclusions and indicates options for the future.
A supplement to the Pilot Report gives more detailed data about the Pilot. Click here to see the supplement.
Click here to see a sample inspection report.