This year the BWCE Fund awarded Bath City Farm £5,000 towards an air source heat pump and ventilation system for the new purpose-built community hub and cafe at Bath City Farm. Alison Howell, Communications & Development Co-ordinator at Bath City Farm describes this exciting new venture and how BWCE has helped.

26 years after the Farm’s founders had the vision for a community café on the Whiteway site, the new single storey, timber clad building with stunning views over Bath finally opened to the public on Wednesday 11th May 2022. The search for funding started in 2016 and to date has raised over £500,000 to pay for the build and fit out. Whilst Covid delayed the build initially, construction started in September 2021.

Bath City Farm is a charity, a living, working farm that is also a visitor attraction with farm animals, a children’s play park, café, nature trail, community gardens, spaces for hire and woodland. The Farm is situated in Whiteway, Bath.  The Farm welcomes volunteers with mental health issues and adults with additional learning needs, children, and youths to participate in special programmes designed to improve mental health and create community around a shared purpose.

The inside of the new café has space for up to 40 customers whilst outside there are two terraces with far-reaching views across the city of Bath and over the children’s play area. The aim will be to grow as much of the food on the menu on site as possible. Example dishes include a Farmer’s breakfast with sausages and bacon made from locally reared pigs and a Gardener’s breakfast with portobello mushrooms and slow roasted tomatoes. Lunches will include seasonal soups, quiches, tarts and salads. Customers can also enjoy sweet treats such as orange drizzle cake with candied pumpkin seeds with white chocolate and raspberry blondies.

From the outset the café will be open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4.30 pm serving breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake.

The café, as well as providing a culinary experience for visitors, will also provide work experience opportunities through a new Roots to Work programme funded by WECA (West of England combined authority). This is for people who have come through the Farm’s established mental health programmes or programmes for adults with learning needs.  Trainees will be supported to carry out a range of catering and hospitality tasks at the café including till use, food, and drink preparation, front of house service, general kitchen cleaning and waste management.

The café, designed by Hetreed Ross Architects and built by Ken Biggs Contractors, will aim to generate a profit that can be reinvested directly back into the Farm’s charitable activities, helping to ensure the longevity and financial resilience of the Farm.

Bath City Farm’s Director, Brendan Tate Wistreich, said:
The new cafe will be a place for local residents and visitors to meet and connect to the land through delicious food and drink grown and made on site. We are excited to finally open the doors after many years of planning. We hope the cafe will be an exciting addition to our community place, offering something for everyone. We cannot wait to welcome you in

Funds for the café have been secured from several sources including a grant from the Bath-based St John’s Foundation, which paid for Hetreed Ross Architects to be appointed to carry out the initial design.  Funds have also been secured from the Bath and North East Somerset Community Infrastructure Levy Fund, the Power to Change Community Business Fund, Enovert and Bath Disability Trust. And of course the BWCE Fund has supported the installation of a low carbon heating and ventilation system.

Bath City Farm Trustee Malcolm Dodds explained that the Community Cafe has high levels of insulation in the floor, walls and roof as well as triple-glazed windows and doors, all designed to keep the heat in on colder days. In addition, space heating is provided by an air-source heat pump (ASHP), which extracts heat from the air and passes the heat through a network of pipes into the floor slab, where it is stored and slowly released. This system produces less CO2 than a conventional gas boiler.

On hot days the automatic ventilation system works in addition to the natural ventilation provided by the doors and windows, extracting hot air from the top of the building. At night this system can work in reverse and draw cold air into the building, cooling it down in preparation for hot weather the following day.

For further information visit or contact Alison Howell on [email protected]  Tel. 01225 481 269

IAnd here is the link if you wish to donate to Bath City Farm: Donation to Bath City Farm | Localgiving