Trevor Osborne outlines the latest progress on the crescent project.
Trevor Osborne addressed a public meeting at the Octagon in the Pavilion Gardens on Wednesday evening to present an update on the Crescent Project and to take questions from members of the public. Explaining that the project had suffered delay, in part because of the understandably complex negotiations with Nestle, to ensure that their rights to extract the water were protected during the restoration and building works. The matter was resolved with the granting of a £12m indemnity to Nestle in the event of any disruption to their supply.
Main Contractors have been chosen and now the enabling works have been completed the revised plans have been submitted to the council and a decision is expected on these by November.
Mr Osborne also explained that the restoration project had lost a vital part of its funding when Government decided to abolish East Midlands Development Agency, and replace it with Local Economic Partnerships. With the abolition of EMDA went some £5m in support which it has not been possible to replace.
On the day of the meeting Mr Osborne hosted a lunch to which English Heritage and a number of key partners in Buxton were invited.
Jonathan Davey a Director of Buxton Civic Association, who attended the meeting, commented that the response from English Heritage seemed positive. “We explained that the Crescent was important not only to Buxton, but was part of the heritage of Britain.” It is understood that English Heritage will consider whether any additional heritage lottery funding with be granted by the end of September. Key to their consideration of financial support is the heritage visitor attraction experience. The strategy for this, first developed in 2006, has been rethought. New consultants have been appointed and the proposal is to have the visitor attraction element managed by a charitable trust which in turn will be supported by a number of local organisations of which Buxton Civic Association will be one.
In addition to setting the crescent in its historical context with actors in period costumes and an 18th Century heritage bedroom as the centre piece of the public visitor experience, the story of Buxton water will also be explained. The intention is to create an interactive, historical experience for visitors to the crescent.
The Heritage lottery funding is critical to the continuation of the project, and assuming everything goes according to plan the restoration will create a 79 bedroom 5 star hotel, with 6 boutique shops. A roof top swimming pool is also proposed. The Spa will be open to residents of Buxton and guests of Buxton Hotels. It is expected that the project will be completed by 2017.