Bath & NES REC is located in Bath City centre. In the 2001 Census, the total population of the local authority area of Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) was 169,040 of which 97.2% were white and 2.8% was of a minority ethnic origin.
The largest and newest minority ethnic group in the local authority area is Chinese at 1% of the total population, who do experience language problems in accessing services and advice. The emerging body representing this group is BEACh (Bath East Asian and Chinese and Friends group), providing support for both Mandarin and Cantonese speaking Chinese.
The median age of the population in B&NES is higher than the national average for various reasons. Within the local community there is a disproportionate group of older people as young people find it difficult to find affordable housing and move out, as the city has the second highest prices for housing in the country. The youth of the BME population are a larger proportion of the BME population overall.
There is an active Muslim community, led by the Islamic Centre in Bath, which has received heightened attention since the Twin-Towers Bombing in New York, and has been a catalyst for the development of community cohesion work.
Bath and North East Somerset is a distinctive area in that it is made up of Bath City (which is a World Heritage Site) and poorer hinterlands of market towns and rural villages.
Bath City and other parts of the local authority area satisfy many of indicators of prosperity, such as a lower than average unemployment rate at 1.1%. Evidence suggests unemployment is largely concentrated in the minority ethnic population, and there are pockets of above average poverty and deprivation within and alongside wealthy and prosperous areas in the city and in the local authority area.
The DETR (Department of Environment Transport and the Regions) published national data on a range of deprivation measures: whilst it should be noted that none of the B&NES wards rank within the most deprived 10% of English wards, Twerton is in the highest quartile of English wards in terms of multiple deprivation, income, child poverty, health and housing.
Other B&NES wards are also included in the highest quartile of English wards. For example, Abbey is included in relation to child poverty, employment, health and housing. Also, Southdown is included in the top quartile for income, child poverty, education and housing.