County council steps in with funding for Buxton’s Crescent project

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Derbyshire County Council has agreed to loan the developers behind a project to convert Buxton’s Crescent into a 79-bedroom five star spa hotel a multi-million pound sum to secure the future of the scheme.

The Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa project began a number of years ago when the county and borough councils sought to find a new use for The Crescent – jointly owned by both authorities.

Funding is coming from a variety of sources, the developers Trevor Osborne Property Group (£15m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£12.4m), English Heritage (0.5m) and Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Borough Council (£2m).

The project was due to receive £5m from the East Midlands Development Agency, (EMDA), but this funding was withdrawn when EMDA was disbanded by the Government in 2011. Four recent bids to the Regional Growth Fund (the Government fund which replaced Development Agency grants) have not been successful.

The delay caused by losing the EMDA funding has meant that because of the current financial climate the developers have not been able to borrow the amount they need from the banks. And it is this amount that the council has agreed, in principle, to loan to them. Additional funds are also needed because of increased construction costs.

Cllr Anne Western, Leader of Derbyshire County Council said: “The Crescent is of national historic significance and its restoration will put Buxton and the north of the county back on the map.

“This project is too important to Buxton and the rest of Derbyshire to fail. It is very disappointing that neither the Government or the banks have been able to give their support. Our only option to allow the restoration of the Crescent and in turn create a better economic future for Buxton is to loan the outstanding money ourselves.”