Topping out ceremony takes place at Buxton's '˜magnificent' Crescent as major redevelopment work nears completion
Another major milestone in the redevelopment of Buxton's iconic Georgian Crescent has been marked with a topping out ceremony to lay the final roof slates.
The Grade I listed building, which had been derelict for 25 years, is among the most architecturally significant in the country and is set to re-open as an 80-bedroom thermal spa hotel next year – the only one of its kind in the north of England.
Development and funding partners involved in the restoration project - including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Derbyshire County Council, High Peak Borough Council, CP Holdings Ltd, the Trevor Osborne Property Group Ltd and the contractor Vinci Construction – celebrated the latest big step with a ceremony on the roof of the building.
County council chairman George Wharmby led the ceremony as the major development edges closer to completion.
His colleague, council leader and cabinet member for strategic leadership, culture and tourism, Coun Barry Lewis, said: “This is a fantastic development in the restoration of the magnificent Buxton Crescent.
“Driving economic growth, boosting tourism and creating more jobs are all key priorities of ours and the Crescent plays an important role in this and it will be a real boost for the local area.
“It has been a pleasure to work with our partners proving by working together we can achieve so much and bring this fabulous Georgian gem back to life after years of being derelict.”
The redevelopment of the Crescent – which is set to play a significant role in the heritage-led economic regeneration of the town and wider region – will directly create 140 jobs and another 300 indirectly, alongside the 350 construction jobs associated with it.
Coun Tony Kemp, executive councillor for tourism and regeneration at the borough council, said: “The redevelopment of the Crescent is the culmination of our regeneration programme which, over the last 30 years, has generated a gross value of £116 million in Buxton.
“This project is a truly great example of what we can achieve when we work in partnership. The two Councils have established a track record of successfully working together on this project over the best part of three decades, even through changes of political control.
“I want to say a big thank you to the HLF for the fantastic support we have had from them and Historic England through this and several other major schemes. Also, I must thank our private sector partners who have stayed with this most challenging project through many difficulties – Danubius Hotels (CP Holdings Group) and the Trevor Osborne Property Group.
“As we near the end of the construction work at this unique nationally significant hotel and spa, and again with help from the HLF, we have commissioned work to ensure the town is ready to welcome the new visitor markets that will be attracted to Buxton through development of a Visitor Economy Strategy. We need to be certain that maximum benefit is gained for residents and businesses alike throughout the High Peak and the wider Derbyshire community.”
Funding for the project has come from several sources – the developers £27m; HLF £24m; Historic England £0.6m; D2N2 £2m; Derbyshire County Council £13.584m and a loan of £11.39m to the developer; and High Peak Borough Council £1.18m.
All the funding from the HLF, Historic England and the two Councils has been invested purely in the conservation of the building.
The investment made by the HLF in Buxton, which totals £34 million overall in capital projects including the Crescent, the Opera House, the University and the Pavilion Gardens, is amongst the biggest in the country.
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players the restoration of this much loved building has taken another significant step forward thanks to over £23m investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“This ambitious project is an amazing example of what partnership working can achieve to secure additional prosperity and investment into Buxton and the wider area to the benefit of everyone by restoring and repairing the whole Crescent.”
The hotel is set to open it’s doors in Autumn next year. For more information on the Crescent, it’s history and the restoration project please visit the website www.buxtoncrescent.com.