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FANTASTIC FOUR Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing or important local business stories right now

AN EXTRAORDIN-AIRY SIGHT Bath-based balloon styling company, Riot Balloons, had their very own unique installation exhibited at the recent Chelsea Flower Show. The company, who provide balloon installations for events such as weddings and photoshoots, were commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society to Fiona MacOwen and Catharine Chenery

create something new for ‘the tunnel’ — a 20 metre passageway between key areas of the show. Over the course of a week, the team of 12 produced a huge balloon and foliage canopy, nicknamed the Chelsea Jungle, incorporating audio and light to make it truly immersive. Fiona MacOwen co-designed and produced the canopy with Catharine Chenery of Catharine Chenery Garden and Botanical Design. Fiona, creative director of Riot Balloons says, “Visitor response was overwhelmingly positive and it became a place of refuge from the hustle of the show — which was exactly our intention.”

Hill House, on the northern slopes of Bath, has won a prestigious architectural RIBA South West Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects. The house, designed by city-based architects Mike Keys and Anne Claxton, was one of 14 awardwinning projects in the South West. Chairman of the judges, Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects says, “We admired the sophisticated elegant simplicity of the plan, and the subtle massing for a large family house within a conservation area. Modernism of this quality is rare within the centre of Bath and should be encouraged.” RIBA South West Awards recognise examples of innovative new architecture in the region.

Unprecedented support for next year’s Bath Life Awards means that a remarkable 20 sponsors are already in place – and there are virtually no categories left. Leading the way once more is Headline Sponsor, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa along with its brand partner, Taittinger. Bristol Airport sponsors the Platinum Award again. New this year is an Environmental Award from first-time sponsor, the Bath BID. Also new is a Rising Star award, sponsored by SoVisionIT, for a key young talent. The other main sponsors are: Savills, Novia, Bath Rugby, Apex Hotels, Bluefin, Minuteman, Tile & Flooring, First Bus, Kersfield, Bryers, Clifton Marquee Company, Fidelius, Bath Audi, Hawker Joinery, Stone King, Homelets, Bath VW, Circo and Enlightened. “It is absolutely superb how Bath businesses are supporting the Bath Life Awards – and this far out! We are talking with other potential commercial partners about any remaining options,” says event eanager Steph Dodd. “And it’s great to have the backing of the Bath BID. It’s strategically so important to Bath and we are delighted to have an Environmental Award for the first time.” A limited number of Silver Sponsorships, which include a table for eight, will go on sale in August. The Awards have sold out for several years some months ahead of the grand night. In 2017, tickets weren’t even put on general sale, due to the support from sponsors and extraordinary demand from Finalists. Once more, the Bath Life Awards will be held at the Assembly Rooms. “We’re capped at exactly 500 people and could easily sell another 100. But it’s the spiritual home of the Awards and we will be delighted to return there on 1 March,” adds Steph. The new Awards site will be live shortly. A free “How to Win a Bath Life Award” seminar will be held in September and nominations open in November. The Awards are judged by a panel of independent judges, newly chosen each year.

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THE AWARD-WINNING HOUSE ON THE HILL The modern simplicity caught the eyes of the RIBA judges


TROPIC LIKE IT’S HOT Natural Spa Factory, which was established in Bath in 2009, supplies some of world’s most prestigious spas, boutique hotels and independent retailers with its skin care products, and it has now extended its international partnerships with spas in both the Maldives and Malta. Working exclusively with esKape Spa, due to open in September at the Kandima Resort, Maldives, and augmenting Malta’s Heaven Day Spa’s long-established treatment offering, Natural Spa Factory will supply a selection of bespoke,

tailored treatments using botanical ingredients. Kandima Spa’s collection of 28 treatments, many of which are conducted ‘al fresco’ for an immersive experience, are all inspired by the breath-taking island location. The spa director at Kandima Maldives says, “As we say, ‘to esKape to the spa is like heaven on earth’ and we’re thrilled to have Natural Spa factory supporting us on our journey.”

An al fresco spa treatment at the Kandima Resort in the Maldives is now on our bucket list

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