It’s been billed the biggest development in the recent history of Buxton’s Georgian gem, the Crescent, as the main contract work to restore the building to use as a 5-star thermal spa hotel, shops and visitor centre begins.
The £50 million flagship development is being funded by a £23.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, alongside funding from High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Historic England, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Buxton Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa Co Ltd.
Councillor Tony Kemp, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration and Tourism at the Borough Council, said: “This is an occasion to be celebrated – it is truly the biggest development for the Crescent in many decades – and it is really exciting to finally get to the point where work on the main contract is underway.
“It’s been a long and, often frustrating, road and I know that residents and visitors to the High Peak, along with all those with a genuine interest in seeing the rennaisance of this iconic building, will join with us in welcoming this landmark in the project with the confidence that the long and dearly-held ambition to return the Crescent to use will now be realised.”
Derbyshire County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Communities and Buxton Crescent Trustee, Councillor Ellie Wilcox, said: “This project is the result of councils working together along with a development company over many years and I’m pleased we’re now able to start work to bring this wonderful building back into use and put Buxton back on the map as a spa town.
“We’re confident this development will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Buxton and the High Peak, boosting the local economy and providing another fantastic reason to visit Derbyshire.”
The HLF is supporting the project with one of its biggest grants. Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “It’s great to see this visionary project come to fruition. There have been some unique and challenging risks that have meant that this point has been a long time coming, but reaching this significant milestone is a credit to the hard work of the project team and partners. Special thanks must go to National Lottery players for making our investment possible.”
Developer Trevor Osborne added: “We have all been eagerly anticipating the signing of the main contract and it’s wonderful that it has now happened allowing the main works to begin in earnest on this next exciting chapter in this Grade I-listed building’s story.”
Crescent Community Officer Liz Mackenzie is developing a programme of events, tours and projects with local schools and organisations to explore the rich heritage of the building. The Friends of the Crescent scheme will be launched in early summer and the popular Pump Room roof concerts featuring an array of local bands and musicians will take place again on 23 and 24 July. For further details, please visit www.buxtoncrescent.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org