Pavilion Gardens buildings to close for five weeks as cost-cutting measure

The Pavilion Gardens Octagon and replacement marquee

The Pavilion Gardens Octagon and replacement marquee

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Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens is to close its doors for five weeks from Christmas Eve as High Peak Borough Council looks to reduce costs.

From December 24, buildings at the Pavilion Gardens, including the tourist information centre, will be shut until February 1, 2017, except for pre-booked events.

There will be reduced operational hours of the Pavilion Café, the coffee bar will now only be open from April to September every year and the council is offering opportunities to operate the outside kiosk and the miniature train to businesses and entrepreneurs.

Councillor Tony Kemp, deputy leader of the council and executive councillor for tourism and regeneration, said: “Taxpayers from across the borough have a right to expect us to control costs sensibly and it is essential the investment the council is making is supported by the operation of financially viable services.

“The decision to reduce operational hours during traditionally quiet months reflects what many tourism-related businesses already do.”

The council has committed £3 million for major remedial work to those buildings not renovated in the 2008-2010 programme of works. However, enforced closure of the Octagon has impacted heavily on the income from events and passing trade. Together with the cost of hiring the marquee, the cost to the taxpayer of operating the Gardens has risen very considerably.

Cllr Kemp added: “To manage catering services effectively we have gradually moved towards greater use of casual staff. We are doing all we can to minimise the impact on staff and I do very much regret any unwelcome aspects but we must bring costs under control.”