THE Crescent project in Buxton has been given a funding boost this week after English Heritage ploughed £500,000 into the scheme.
The grant is a major boost for the £35m project to transform the Grade 1 listed Crescent and the adjoining Grade 2 listed Natural Baths and Pump Room into a five-star spa hotel incorporating eight specialist shops and a new visitor interpretation centre.
The funding will be used to repair The Crescent and the Pump Room. Work is expected to start on the Pump Room in late autumn after which the building will act as an information centre for the remainder of the project.
Anthony Streeten, from English Heritage, said: “We’re delighted to help in restoring to their former glory this very special group of buildings in the heart of the Buxton Conservation Area. This enlightened project will breathe new life into Buxton’s long history as a spa town.”
The project is being managed by the Buxton Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa Company, a consortium of the Trevor Osborne Property Group, CP Holdings and Danubius Hotels, in partnership with landowners High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council.
HPBC leader Caitlin Bisknell said: “The funding takes us another important step towards the realisation of a nationally-important development that will strengthen the growing reputation of our lovely spa town as a major visitor destination.
“Tourism is vitally important to the High Peak, and this development will create jobs and attract countless new visitors while protecting Buxton’s precious architectural heritage.
“The funding is a major boost for the project but there’s still a lot of lobbying to be done to make good the shortfall of the £5m grant that can no longer be met by the East Midlands Development Agency.”
A second bid for the shortfall is due to be made to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
DCC leader Councillor Andrew Lewer, said: “This is more good news for Buxton and Derbyshire. It means our plans for the restoration of The Crescent and the creation of a major tourist attraction for the region move ever closer to completion.”
Nearly five years ago, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £12.5m towards total development costs of the project. The rest of the funding is being met by the company, through HPBC and DCC resources and external grant aid.