Buxton Town Team celebrates ten years of working to improve town

From litter picking to local transport, Buxton Town Team has been involved in a variety of projects to improve the town over the last ten years.

Friday, 8th April 2022, 4:32 pm

The organisation, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, was founded in 2012 in the wake of the Government’s Portas Pilot initiative, aimed at regenerating Britain’s high streets. There was stiff competition for the funding and although the town did not make the final cut, volunteers decided to go ahead and make Buxton better anyway.

Tina Heathcote, who has been involved with the group since the very beginning, said: “We put a lot of work into the bid.

“Although it was ultimately unsuccessful in getting the £100,000, we were awarded £10,000 and decided to press ahead with our plans. It was too good an idea to pass up.”

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John and Tina Heathcote cleaning a signpost in The Crescent during a previous Big Buxton Spring Clean

In the past decade the group, which has more than 300 members, has donated thousands of hours to bring to life a range of projects throughout the town.

Town team chair Lesley Caddy said: “We’re enthusiastic, inclusive, welcoming and we want to involve as many people as possible – we believe everyone has something to offer, no matter what their age or experience.

“We always have a variety of active projects on the go, from regulars such as the Slopes care team and the litter picking group, to special initiatives such as helping to develop a local transport strategy.

“The team of people we have are amazing and continue to have a positive impact on the town.”

Buxton Town Team hard at work on The Slopes

Over the years Buxton Town Team (BTT) has championed the town and got both young and old involved with their projects.

Pupils at local schools have helped clean the railings in the Pavilion Gardens and created snowmen as part of the Christmas decorations put up each year.

It has been the town team who raised funding for lights on the many of the Christmas trees throughout the town centre including those on the roundabouts.

A regular group of volunteers are also involved in ongoing projects in Ashwood Park which have seen the creation of wildflower meadows and planting cherry trees.

They work on planters on Fairfield Road that bring colour through the different seasons and during the summer the entrance to the Springs Shopping Centre is a blaze of colour thanks to hanging baskets. The community and local businesses have also played their play over the years with the Buxton in Bloom scheme.

Another group of volunteers meet on alternative Thursdays and Saturdays to help look after the Slopes.

Work is currently taking place on a major initiative to create the Buxton Sustainable Travel Plan. Working with local authorities and bus companies, a number of BTT members are looking at ways to create safe routes for cyclists and walkers.

The group has long enjoyed collaborative working and in 2015, organised a conference with a host of groups and organisations to create a cohesive plan for the development of the town, sharing information and coordinating efforts.

Many initiatives started as town team projects have also grown and developed further.

Efforts to revitalise Buxton Market were such a success that a Community Interest Company was set up to oversee the regular twice-weekly market and themed markets which will be celebrating its sixth anniversary at the end of this month.

The Spring Fair, making a welcome return this year after being paused due to Covid also started life as a town team initiative back in 2013.

Efforts have also been made to help visitors to the town be that through Talking Signposts or creating illustrated maps to show what Buxton has to offer.

One town team event is the Big Buxton Spring Clean taking place on Saturday, April 9.

Anyone wanting to get involved should meet at Turner’s Memorial at 10am. Equipment will be provided.

The group now plans to raise further funds to support their efforts.

Emma Downes, a town team director, said: “Like many organisations Covid has had an impact on our usual fundraising activities.

“As a result, we are currently looking at setting up a group of volunteers to look at different fundraising ideas to support the many great projects we have to help improve the town.

“It is a perfect way to get involved if you are not interested in other more strenuous activities.”

Suggestions put forward so far include lotteries, a 100 Club, coffee mornings, regular charity stalls and even an ongoing donation facility such as Just Giving.

“We are open to ideas and look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to get involved,” Emma added.

Lifelong membership is just £1 and is open to all. Information on how to become a member is available at www.buxtontownteam.org.

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