Plans for Buxton's former Marks and Spencer store to be revealed soon

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Plans for the future of Buxton’s former Marks and Spencer store are due to be announced by its new owners soon, it has been confirmed.

In January 2019 it was announced the Spring Gardens business would be shutting down, with the store closing its doors for good in April 2019 after 85 years trading in the town.

The building has been empty since then, but new owners are now in place and will be announcing their plans for the site in the near future.

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Councillor Anthony Mckeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “The council is in close contact with the new owners while they revise their proposals and we are expecting them to announce proposals shortly.”

The last day of trading at Buxton's branch of Marks and SpencerThe last day of trading at Buxton's branch of Marks and Spencer
The last day of trading at Buxton's branch of Marks and Spencer

However despite requests for more information a council spokesperson said they were unable to give more details.

The news will be welcomed by locals who have longed to see the prominent site brought back into use, to hopefully encourage people to shop in Buxton as well as attracting visitors.

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Roddie MacLean, director at Vision Buxton, said he would love to see more made of the rear of the buildings which back on to the River Wye.

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He said: “The primary aspiration of Vision Buxton is the building is urgently brought back into some use which contributes positively to the commercial and civic life of the town centre.

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“I met with the new owners last year and at that stage they were thinking about a series of shop units exploiting the 'desire line' between Spring Gardens and Waitrose.

"We discussed the possibility of a new access to upstairs from that route too, leading to something like a library, cafe and creche on the first floor. There is the same area as the whole ground floor shop up there.

"The building also has a completely blank face to the area around where the River Wye emerges and which was identified for enhancement as part of the draft Future High Street plans.

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“Think how much more lively and inviting it would be if the cars were moved elsewhere, the river was opened up and the buildings which overlook it,Waitrose as well as two floors of the old M&S had big windows so that you could see the activity inside.”

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