Buxton Museum



16 May 2024

Show of solidarity to mark one year anniversary of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery closure

Supporters of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) are being urged to attend a mass photo opportunity at 11am on Sat June 8th outside Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.  The event has been timed to mark the anniversary of its closure in June 2023.

The Museum & Art Gallery, operated by Derbyshire County Council (DCC), was abruptly closed on 1st June 2023 following the discovery of dry rot in the building’s structural timbers, posing a safety risk. Despite promises of a resolution, there has been little information about the process so far or the options for the medium and long term. 

In 2017 BMAG enjoyed a £1.5m redevelopment thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wolfson Foundation, Derbyshire County Council, Arts Council England and other benefactors.  The Museum & Art Gallery saw record visitor numbers in 2019 and 2022, and has been a cultural staple in the community for decades.

The lack of information has raised questions and fears that BMAG as we know it will be significantly reduced or scrapped altogether.  Local business group, and We Are Buxton Community Forum Member, Vision Buxton launched a petition in March which has already gathered nearly 5,000 signatures. The petition urges DCC to clarify future plans for the BMAG building and the important collections it houses.  Since the launch of the petition assurances have been received that the local authority is committed to BMAG returning, although when, where and how remains to be confirmed.  Interim and pop up options are being explored whilst a long term solution can be found and put in place.

Roddie MacLean, chairman of Vision Buxton said “With DCC’s reassurances in front of us and the active support and testimonials of 5000 people behind us, I feel we are in a better place than a few months ago.  The gathering on 8 June will further help demonstrate the depth of feeling within the community and their frustration at the apparent lack of progress by the County Council.”  

DCC Leader Cllr Barry Lewis, has been invited to come to Buxton on 8th June to receive the petition and provide the townspeople with information about the options and plans for preventing the permanent loss of this valuable local asset and facility. 

This event reflects concerns that the closure, coinciding with DCC’s significant budget deficit and subsequent spending freeze in September 2023, will make it particularly challenging to resolve.  The public event aims to highlight the scale of passion that the local community feel for BMAG and the valuable contribution that it has made to education, tourism, and cultural expression over the years. 

We Are Buxton Community Forum is calling for as many people a possible to come along and show their support for BMAG on 8 June.  Gather in the Green Man Gallery yard behind the museum at 10:40am, then people will be asked to move down to fill the ramp, entrance and pavement area for 11am when the petition will be handed over and we hope to hear from Cllr Lewis.  Attendees are being reminded that this is a photo opportunity so they should let organisers know and not be in shot if they do not want to be in the pictures.

“It is important to show DCC how much we miss this excellent institution and to hear what has and will be done to ensure that the absence is only temporary.  Please come along and show your support, we want a big crowd!” said Jean Ball from the We Are Buxton Community Forum.

There is still time to sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/save-buxton-museum-art-gallery-from-permanent-closure


For comments, interviews, high-res images or further information, please contact:

Ali Quas-Cohen, Vision Buxton, c/o Brooke-Taylors Solicitors, 4 The Quadrant, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6AW. Email: administrator@visionbuxton.co.uk  

Or Jean Ball, Chair of the We Are Buxton Community Forum on behalf of Transition Buxton CIC by email: inspire@transitionbuxton.co.uk Please note Jean is not available 18-25 May inclusive.

We Are Buxton Community Forum (WAB) is a partnership or ‘group of groups’ providing an important conduit for co-ordinating thinking and activity between the key community organisations in the town and a regular opportunity for liaising with HPBC and DCC.  The aim is ‘to empower Buxton to communicate, prioritise, collaborate and deliver together on our shared vision and objectives for a sustainable, thriving healthy town, population and economy’.  Currently active WAB members; Vision Buxton, Buxton Civic Association (BCA), Buxton Town Team, Transition Buxton, Friends of Buxton Station, Connex, Churches Together in Buxton, Accessible Buxton, HPBC and DCC.

Photos of the interior of Buxton Museum