Petition calls for restoration of Buxton's historic colonnades

A petition has been launched to restore an historic feature to Buxton’s town centre shops.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 9:09 am

Restore Buxton Colonnades has launched the petition and wants to secure some of the Historic England Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) funding, which has been awarded to regenerate Buxton town centre, to restore the existing and replace missing colonnades, starting with those around the Cavendish Arcade.

The campaign has been started by businesswoman Melandra Smith who used her spare time during lockdown to research the town’s history, discovering how much of the opulent spa town heritage was destroyed in the 1960s, along with all the colonnades along the front of the Baths.

She said: “Buxton was and still is an architectural gem, but many of the assets that made it truly unique as a spa town have been stripped away over the years, including most of the metalwork and colonnading around what is now the Cavendish Arcade, Spring Gardens and the Quadrant.”

The Buxton Colonnades in their former glory which campaigner Melandra Smith wants to bring back to the town. Pic Melandra Smith

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The Restore Buxton Colonnades group discovered after being taken down, the colonnades were eventually sold, so it then became apparent that new ones would have to be made using the existing ones as a design inspiration.

Now the campaigners have created a petition to secure some of the £926,000 from the HAZ funding to try and get the colonnades restored to their former glory.

Melandra said: “This would be a huge boost for the town, a talking point from a marketing position – especially as the Crescent next door has just reopened after 35 years – it would draw in visitors and create interest, helping the regeneration of the town centre.

The colonnades at the Grove Hotel on Grove Parade

"Local authorities are usually invested in building new, but Buxton's unique selling point is both its hot springs and all the interesting architecture that was developed around them, so we think this petition is very pertinent in light of the funding that has been obtained.

"So please give us your support for restoring the beautiful old colonnades, and helping Buxton regain yet more of its former magnificence.”

The group propose to take a look at what is left of the colonnades in council storage and get quotes for repairing them.

The Colonnades at Buxton's arcade need some love. Pic Melandra smith

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Melandra Smith founder of the Restore Buxton Colonnades Group