|Taking the plunge|
|Thursday, 01 December 2011 15:00|
WORKMEN are expected to move into the Crescent early next year as work on the long-awaited £32m scheme gets under way – despite a £5m funding shortfall.
The Buxton Crescent Hotel & Spa Company is pressing ahead with the project in the belief that the funding gap – left by the disbandment of the East Midlands Regional Development Agency – will be closed in due course.
Contractors have been appointed and are on standby to start work as soon as the project’s council partners conclude the legal agreements required to allow them on site.
“We are looking to sign off the remaining agreements to allow the development to commence as soon as possible,” said a council spokesperson.
The Grade I-listed building was recently highlighted in English Heritage’s annual buildings at risk report as one of its top ten priorities. Nearly five years ago, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £12.5 million towards the project costs and there has since been a grant of £500,000 from English Heritage.
Councillors approved a revised planning application at the end of September, clearing the way for a start on the enabling works.
“We are very pleased to have the enthusiastic support of the planning committee for Buxton’s most important project,” says Trevor Osborne on behalf of the developers.
The first phase of work will be to remove asbestos which has been found in the building and to demolish part of the colonnade behind the Crescent to allow a temporary pipe bridge to be put in place to carry spring water from the source to Buxton Water’s bottling plant. This will allow excavations for a new plant and kitchen basement to begin.
Meanwhile, the Buxton Crescent Hotel & Spa Company has been working with the Big Draw to encourage professional and amateur artists to represent the essence of Buxton. Large-scale reproductions of the winning entries will be erected on the site hoardings. The "Big Draw" is an annual month-long festival of over one thousand events across the UK inviting people of all ages to discover how drawing can connect them with their surroundings and the wider community.
Article contributed by Pure magazine.