Retail surveyor calls on council to spend £6million Buxton funding to attract more shoppers
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Damian Sumner works in Buxton for commercial property specialists Brasier Feeth, and said he wants to see the money used to attract more visitors.
He said: “From a property perspective losing Marks and Spencer was a big blow for the town.
“It was a very prominent location and was important for both The Springs and Spring Gardens.
“Now we have to look forward and ensure the money coming into the council to revamp the town will be spent wisely so to continue to attract big investors and big name brands which will of course bring in more people to the town.”
The funding from the Future High Streets Fund, a government initiative designed to transform high streets and create jobs, was announced in 2020
Buxton is now set to receive £6,608,223 to spruce up the town centre.
Suggestions of how the town could be improved include a new pedestrian street from the train station and a new public square.
There are also hopes for new leisure attractions such as a cinema, gym and family restaurants and developing a new multi-level car park behind The Springs.
However these plans were criticised by some leading town groups for not focusing enough on Spring Gardens.
Damian, who is currently working with investors on the former Barclays bank on The Quadrant, agrees and thinks more could be done with the money.
He said: “The potential in Buxton is amazing and I just don’t want people to look back in a few years and wonder where the money went.
“The town centre doesn’t need bunting between the shops or money being spent on doing up shop fronts.
“What it needs is the best value possible for the people who live and work here.
“The council needs to be looking at the bigger picture.
“Buxton is a great town and one that attracts people from all over but we need to be giving everyone great shops to shop in.”
High Peak Borough Council is currently in the final stage of the grant award and is working with partners as it seeks to implement proposals.
A spokesperson for the borough council said: “As a Future High Street Fund town a stakeholder group will be established bringing together elected representatives and key community groups to support delivery of the project, act as an external consultative body and to communicate and engage with their memberships or constituents on project objectives, deliverables and progress.”
The grant award must be fully spent by March 2024, but works to deliver full proposals with other funding can continue until 2027.
What would you like to see the money spent on? Email [email protected] and let us know your views on where the grant money should be spent.