New top bosses at Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust share vision for future

Taking the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust on to bigger and better things in the coming years is the aim of three new people who have joined the organisation.

By Lucy Ball
Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:16 pm

Over the summer, the trust appointed a new CEO, a new head of education and engagement and a new head of volunteering.

And new CEO Stephen Owen knows that he has his hands full in the role.

“It’s been a very hectic three months finding my feet but this is a great project to be part of and I’m excited to take the trust forward,” he said.

The Duke of Devonshire, far left, Richard Tuffrey (BCHT), Jeremy Fenn (Heritage Lottery Fund), Jim Harker (HLF), Jennifer Spencer (Chair of the BCHT board) and Stephen Owen the new Trust CEO far right.

The Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust runs The Buxton Crescent Heritage Experience and the Pump Room Information Centre.

Stephen previously worked at Old Trafford and helped promote events there.

He said: “People came to Manchester and they wouldn’t think of coming along to Old Trafford.

"And that’s the same in Buxton. We all know Buxton is a spa town but we want people to come here and share the story of the water too.”

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Earlier in the year Buxton residents were given free tickets to the Buxton Crescent Heritage Experience in the Pump Room which Stephen said were snapped up like hot cakes.

"As winter approaches our challenge now is working out how we continue to promote the wonderful new experience when the domestic tourists aren’t here,” he added.

"The visitor experience is suitable for all ages, so we have previously had a group of retired architects in and in coming months we will be having school visits in too.”

Looking to the future Stephen has big plans to make sure the trust becomes a part of the community.

"We are working with Poole’s Cavern, Buxton Civic Association, Buxton Museum and Art Galley, and attending Vision Buxton meetings,” he explained.

"We are building on Buxton being England’s leading spa town and that means we need to work with all the partner agencies in Buxton and form a cultural consortium to make the town the best it can be for every visitor and resident.”

One of the big things which will be happening next year is the Assembly Rooms in The Crescent will be opened up for 60 days a year for events.

Stephen said: “I know many people remember the rooms being the library and are excited to get back to see them so it’s great the trust has been given so many dates to make use of the wonderful space throughout the year.”

The trust has also appointed Ben Offord, as head of volunteering.

He said: “Volunteering with the trust is win-win for the volunteer and our organisation.

"Volunteers genuinely enjoy sharing their interests with the public, using their skills and gaining experience, while at the trust we access skills and time we might not otherwise be able to.”

There is a currently a drive for more people to become volunteers and take on roles such as being trained tour guides, working in visitor services in the Pump Room or events in The Crescent Assembly Rooms.

There is also the chance to be involved with educational visits, research, marketing, administration and light maintenance or restoration projects.

There will be an informal event at 6pm on Monday October 4 in the Pump Room for anybody interested in volunteering. For more information email [email protected]