Future of events unclear with Octagon closure

Buxton Pavilion Gardens, bandstand and Octagon
Buxton Pavilion Gardens, bandstand and Octagon

Buxton’s Octagon Hall will have to close for 15 months while almost £1 million of restoration is undertaken, raising questions over whether key events will now go ahead.

High Peak Borough Council announced this week that the hall must close after the Great Peak District Fair on Monday, October 12, so the roof of the dome can be repaired.

While the precise impact of building works has yet to be fully assessed, it is anticipated that the rest of the Pavilion Gardens complex will remain open as usual.

A council spokesperson said the authority is working with customers, event organisers and traders to minimise the effects of the closure on the 170 events already planned for the 15 months.

The spokesperson, who confirmed the budget for the work is £919,000, said: “There is a number of options on the Pavilion Gardens premises, such as providing a large temporary structure on the promenade or within the gardens, and using alternative venues, are being considered to accommodate displaced events and other bookings for the Octagon Hall.”

David Fletcher, who organises antique fairs at the hall, said: “I was aware that they were planning to restore the hall soon, but had no idea it would be closing so soon.

“We’ve had a good relationship with the hall for at least 37 years, though, so I’m sure they will look after us.”

A representative of H&H Classic Car Auctions, who also host events at the hall, said: “We are aware of the closure and have been told the council is looking at other options.”

Councillor Tony Kemp said the authority was “extremely mindful” of the potential impact of the closure and was working to minimise disruption.

He said: “We will be making more information about the work, the timescales and alternative provisions for events available over the summer and will keep everyone informed of progress throughout the duration of the work.

“I should like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we work to preserve and protect one of the High Peak’s most valued public buildings.”