PUMP ROOM: First phase of work at historic Buxton building complete

The restoration of the Pump Room nears completion
The restoration of the Pump Room nears completion

The first phase of work to repair and refurbish Buxton’s Grade-II listed Pump Room is complete.

External repairs and extensive work to the decorative internal plaster work and marble cladding have been undertaken by contractors Manchester and Cheshire Construction Company. The contract has also provided basic facilities in the building allowing it to be used for public access.

The restoration of Buxton's Crescent is well underway.

The restoration of Buxton's Crescent is well underway.

Stage two of the refurbishment will begin next year, and the finished space will feature semi-permanent exhibitions, art installations and trails as well as being the starting point for tours and an area in which to enjoy refreshments.

In the meantime, the Pump Room will host a programme of imaginative and theatrical events starting this autumn which will aim to bring the town’s history to life.

Councillor Tony Kemp, Executive Councillor for Regeneration and Tourism at High Peak Borough Council, said: “This is another milestone in the Crescent regeneration project – and one which I know will be welcomed by local residents, visitors and all those with an interest in these nationally important buildings.

“It’s exciting that the first phase of work at the Pump Room is now complete and we can look forward to the programme of events planned to take place in this unique space.”

The £50 million project to restore the famous Georgian Crescent to full use as a thermal spa and five-star hotel and heritage centre is being funded by a £23.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), alongside funding from High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Historic England, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and developer Buxton Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa Co Ltd.

Speaking during a visit to the town today (Friday), Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: “National Lottery players will be thrilled to see how their money is being used in this imaginative re-use of a wonderful building.”

Councillor Caitlin Bisknell, Derbyshire County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Buxton Crescent Trustee, added: “I’m delighted that the Pump Room will once again play a significant role in Buxton’s future as a thriving spa town and will offer something new and innovative for both visitors and residents.

“We’re confident the Crescent development will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Buxton and the High Peak, boosting the local economy and providing another fantastic reason to visit Derbyshire.”

One of the first events to be held in the Pump Room will be a talk by Elizabethan historian David Templeman, who will delve into the life of one of Buxton’s most famous visitors - Mary Queen of Scots.

The hour-long talk will take place at 10.30am and 2pm on Sunday November 20 during the Buxton Festival Book Weekend, to coincide with the launch of Mr Templeman’s latest book – Mary Queen of Scots The Captive Queen of England 1568 -87.

Tickets are priced at £10.50 and are available from the festival website www.buxtonfestival.co.uk or the box office at Buxton Opera House.