COLUMN: Buxton must live up to its ‘leading spa town’ status

The Crescent, Buxton
The Crescent, Buxton

As many readers will know Vision Buxton has launched an initiative to establish whether Buxton should have at its heart a Business Improvement District (BID).

A BID is a way in which businesses can work together to improve their town centre.

The BID can decide to invest in, for example, better town centre Christmas decorations, or additional town events to attract more visitors, or additional street cleaning.

A feasibility study is nearing completion and its purpose is to assess the level of support for a BID from Buxton businesses.

It will also assess the possible geographical area and the work priorities for that area, and the money needed to carry out the projects.

First indications are that there are many hospitality providers and retailers, and other types of business in Buxton, who have noted the success stories of those British towns and city areas that have prospered as a result of acquiring BID status.

There are some who have expressed doubts and concerns as to what the BID is and what it would cost, and their views have been noted and will be taken into account.

What is certain, in the view of our organisation, is that Buxton will require a properly funded and staffed professional body to carry out the vital work to market and promote the town, and to ensure the streetscape is managed effectively once the Crescent is open in 2019.

If we are to live up to our ‘England’s leading spa town’ status we cannot continue to have voluntary bodies taking responsibility for much of the work that is done to support the town’s economic performance.

We believe that the people who are best qualified to manage Buxton’s economic future are the businesses who have most to gain from making the town an even better place in which to live, work and play, and to visit.

As we move into a future of changing shopping habits and rising leisure expectations a BID for Buxton is clearly an effective way to rise to the opportunities and challenges ahead.