Decision imminent on Crescent funding

The Crescent, Buxton
The Crescent, Buxton

D-Day for Buxton’s long-awaited Crescent project is looming with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) expected to make a decision on funding for the scheme.

Representatives from the HLF visited Buxton on November 7 to discover more about the project before making a decision on whether to grant funding for the £35 million scheme to transform the Grade I listed building into a five-star spa hotel.

The HLF met on Tuesday to make their decision, with local civic leaders, developers and residents now facing an anxious wait to see if the funding bid has been successful.

Cllr Caitlin Bisknell, leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “It went very well and we should know by the end of this week whether we have been successful or not.

“They asked a lot of questions and the visit over ran by at least an hour. We thought it was very positive.

“Some of the board members are new and wanted to get a proper understanding of the project and how we have got to where it is because it has been stuck on the blocks so long now.

“They just wanted to make sure everything was nailed down and how quickly we could start.

“Obviously the Crescent is not the only project up for acceptance or refusal and they’ve said they’ll let everyone know at the same time but we don’t know when that will be.”

Planning permission was granted in 2006 to convert the building into a 79-bedroom hotel and spa, with enabling works already taking place on site.

A contractor has been chosen for the main part of the works, but the project has repeatedly been plagued by funding problems.

In January, it was announced that Derbyshire County Council would step in, if needed, with a multi-million pound loan to fill a funding gap left by the disbanding of the East Midlands Development Agency.

Funding is also coming from developers the Trevor Osborne Property Group, English Heritage, Derbyshire County Council, and High Peak Borough Council.