The Crescent was the centrepiece of the Fifth Duke of Devonshire’s plans to establish a fashionable Georgian spa town in Buxton. The grade 1 listed building is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country. The redevelopment and restoration will secure a major investment of circa £50 million in Buxton and put the town back on the national and international map as England’s leading spa town. The project will create in excess of 140 permanent jobs, 350 construction related jobs and many more permanent jobs indirectly through new spa-related businesses resulting in a boost the local economy by over £4.5 million. The Crescent and Thermal Spa heritage experience and development of the Pump Room will also provide new indoor attraction for visitors, schools, tour groups and tourists.
Plans for the Crescent include a 80-bedroom 5* spa hotel occupying the majority of the Crescent and which will incorporate the magnificent Assembly Rooms and a thermal natural mineral water spa in the Natural Baths. The project will also feature 6 retail units in the front ground floor.
The project is estimated to cost over £46 million. Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa Co Ltd will fund just under £18 million with the rest coming from the public sector .Crucial to the success of the scheme is a £23.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund together with a £2 million grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and £0.5 million from Historic England. High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council are each contributing £1 million each.
The developers have identified VINCI Construction UK for the main contract. Now work has started, it is anticipated that the Hotel and Spa and Pump Room will open in 2018.
First phase repairs and refurbishment of Buxton’s Grade-II listed Pump Room are now complete – and this unique space will host a programme of events starting this autumn which will bring the town’s story to life. 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. Stage two of the refurbishment will start 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 play host to the imaginative and theatrical events that will bring the story of Buxton to life. Events planned for the coming months includes talks, musical events, schools projects and arts projects – to name just a few!
One of the first Pump Room events is a talk by Elizabethan historian David Templeman who will take the audience on Mary Queen of Scots journey around Buxton, Carlisle Caste, Bolton Castle, Tutbury, Wingfield Manor, Chatsworth, Sheffield Castle and Manor Lodge and Worksop Manor focussing on the intrigue, passion, plots and escape attempts that characterised this period of her life. The hour-long talk will take place at 10.30am and again at 2pm in the Pump Room on Sunday 20 November during 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.
VisitEngland’s former Chief Executive James Berresford has been appointed Chair of the Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa Heritage Trust.
The three-year role will see Mr Berresford lead the Trust which will protect the Crescent and spa buildings for future generations and establish and manage the associated visitor attractions focussing on the town’s unique spa heritage. . Mr Berresford has dedicated his working life to tourism becoming the first Chief Executive of the national tourist board VisitEngland where he delivered the first national tourism strategy for England. Prior to that he was Director of Tourism at the North West Development Agency for eight years and has managed major cultural programmes and multi-million pound business development and marketing initiatives.