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BCA awarded Green Recovery Challenge Fund Grant

Buxton Civic Association receives grant of £249,700 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund

• 68 projects have been awarded grants between £62k and £3.8 million to kick-start a pipeline of nature-based projects while creating and retaining jobs
• First funding round sees £40 million pot allocated, second round of funding to open in early 2021

Buxton Civic Association’s Stronger Roots: Regeneration and healing in Buxton’s Community Woods, is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Defra announced grants between £62,000 and £3.8 million today, to help create and retain thousands of green jobs. The projects, spread across England, will see trees planted - 800,000 in total - and protected landscapes and damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests restored, alongside wider conservation work. The projects will also support environmental education and connecting people with green spaces.

BCA’s Stronger Roots project recognises the need to repair the ecological damage caused by ash dieback and the important part our woods played during the Lockdown. Buxton people turned to BCA’s nine community woodlands, our Country Park and SSSI for exercise, play, solace and spiritual refreshment. Their appreciation of and need for our sites highlighted the urgency of our work in nature care and nature conservation. This project will accelerate that, enabling us to reach more people faster, whilst responding to the ash dieback crisis. With our partners and the community, we will create flourishing woodlands with enhanced biodiversity and build ecological, social and economic resilience.

The key elements of the project are;
Nature conservation/restoration
• Repair ecological damage, especially that caused by ash dieback
• Create regeneration clearings
• Collect local tree seeds and cuttings; documentation; community involvement
• Tree nursery; growing seeds to forest transplant size
• Fell/pollard trees; maintain public safety; create deadwood habitat
• Repair drystone walls
Nature-based solutions
• Woodland restoration
Connecting people with nature
• Nature Connectedness innovation and research project
• Nature-based well-being activity programme
• Programme of nature care events for groups with additional needs
• New community theatre experience, celebrating woodland regeneration
• Expanded Forest Schools programme
• Nature-based play facilities
• Art projects with local artists collective
• Targeted engagement with disadvantaged groups
• Multi-media outreach/information campaign for the wider community
It will create three new posts; diverse training, volunteer, work experience opportunities; most suitable for young people.

BCA Chairman, Peter Phillipson said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant. This year our core funding has been hit badly, but it is essential that we plan for the future and we are extremely excited by the projects that will be enabled through this funding. The money will provide us with a brilliant opportunity to help bring even more people into our woods in Buxton and to give them all the healing benefits that result from close contact with nature. At the same time, it enables us to redress some of the devastation caused in the last two years by Ash dieback disease and to kick start the process of regenerating the woods for the future. We are pleased that it will give us a chance not only to provide employment for three new members of staff but also provide an opportunity to support some local green freelancers and will support several small local environmental arts and wellbeing organisations.”

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said:
“These projects will drive forward work across England to restore and transform our landscapes, boost nature and create green jobs, and will be a vital part of helping us to build back greener from coronavirus.

“I look forward to working with environmental organisations as these projects help address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, while creating and retaining jobs as part of the green recovery.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Supporting our natural environment is one of the most valuable things we can do right now. All these projects are of huge benefit to our beautiful countryside and wildlife, but will also support jobs, health and wellbeing, which are vitally important as we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.”

The government’s forthcoming Environment Bill puts the environment at the centre of policy making to ensure that we have a cleaner, greener and more resilient country for the next generation. The fund is supporting a range of nature conservation and recovery and nature-based solutions projects, which will contribute towards government’s wider 25 Year Environment Plan commitments, including commitments to increase tree-planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025.

Notes to editors
• 21 projects will receive the larger grants (over £250k - £5m) and 47 projects awarded funding for the smaller grants (£50 - £250k).


Civic Voice – talking civic sense PRESS RELEASE


Griff Rhys Jones, campaigner and Civic Voice President will claim that there is a crisis in civic engagement when he launches the manifesto of the civic movement at its annual convention in Canterbury on Friday 24 October.

Griff will say “We face a crisis of civic engagement. This is a symptom of the frustration people feel as power is taken away from communities and they are subject to tokenistic consultation. We need to give all citizens opportunities to actively shape the future of their place and to give communities the powers they need to enable their town and city centres to prosper”.

To achieve “Localism for Real”, the Civic Voice manifesto will be calling on future Government’s to:

• Make improving the quality of the public realm in our cities, towns and villages a priority
• Give all citizens opportunities to actively shape the future of their place
• Give local communities the powers they need to enable their town and city centres to prosper

Griff will add “If the Government is serious about Localism, they have to listen to the concerns coming forward from civic groups, resident associations and local councils. The Civic Movement agree with the Government that getting the economy moving is essential, but the myriad of proposals coming forward are clearly not the answer.”

Chair of Civic Voice, Freddie Gick said: ”We believe the manifesto, “Localism for Real” puts power back into the hands of communities. We look forward to debating this with politicians and communities over the next 6 months”.

The manifesto will be available to download from the Civic Voice website on Friday 24th October.

New Developer for Nestle Waters’ Buxton Site

Below is the text of a press release received today from Nestles public affairs consultants concerning the appointment of a new developer for its former bottling plant site in Station Road, Buxton.

Once the developers have their proposals ready, a special meeting will be arranged with the developers and members of the Buxton Civic Association.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Nestle Waters has selected a new partner, Cheshire-based developer Consolidated Property Group (CPG), to develop its former bottling site in Station Road, Buxton.
Based in Alderley Edge, CPG has gone back to the drawing board with the site and held extensive discussions with adjoining landowners Network Rail, DB Schenker and Peak Rail, as well as pre-application discussions with High Peak Borough Council. CPG is proposing a mixed-use scheme including restaurants, small shops and an 80 bed budget hotel alongside a single storey foodstore - smaller than that previously proposed. The new plans will also include improved car parking and access for rail users and better pedestrian integration with the adjoining rail station and the town centre.
CPG’s spokesperson, Dan Bramwell, said: “We are proposing a high quality mixed-use scheme that will integrate with Buxton’s core retail area and complement the town’s existing architecture. The site offers a good opportunity to create better linkage across the area, especially with the rail station, whilst also introducing a range of complementary non-retail uses in the town centre. The scheme will create approximately 345 jobs and a further 50 during construction in a capital investment in Buxton of over £35 million.”
“There is no named operator for the foodstore but one of the key design principles is that we have reduced the size of the foodstore from any previous proposals and have included some smaller shop and restaurant units. There is a need to ensure that any scheme is not only realistically deliverable but is also financially viable and a foodstore is a key ingredient for the latter.”

A formal consultation programme will begin in the near future with a public consultation display in September, the details of which will be announced early next month. It is anticipated that a planning application will be submitted by the end of September.



A packed AGM at Buxton Civic Association’s Visitor Centre paid tribute to retiring Board members and welcomed younger ones to take on new roles and responsibilities.

Chairman Paul Dinsdale covered a wide range of topics reflecting the great number of responsibilities currently undertaken by the Association’s special interest groups. These include the Woodlands Group, chaired by Peter Phillipson, who gave an illustrated talk on the work done on paths, stiles, walling and steps in Grin Low and Corbar as well as reporting on storm damage which cost several thousand pounds last year alone. He emphasized that trees fallen or felled from necessity, left space in the canopy allowing young saplings to regenerate, while fallen timber provides an invaluable natural habitat for insects and small animals.

Vice-Chairman Mike Monaghan spoke of the progress being maintained in sourcing good quality Fair Trade and local produce for the popular Café at the Cavern and of our aim to recycle water where appropriate. He also applauded our achievement in gaining the County Council’s coveted Environmental Quality Mark, testifying to the Association’s overall environmental awareness and initiatives. He also complimented Paula Pickering, manager of the highly successful Café at the Cavern, which has recently again been awarded the highest five star rating by Council Environmental Health officers.

The Community and Membership Group is now lead by Mike Wilde, and is becoming involved in a wide range of community initiatives and projects, as well as organizing events for members and the public, and raising awareness of the Association and its work. In this, he is ably assisted by directors Alyson Phillips, who is also responsible for the production of the Association’s excellent Newsletter, and Tim Middleton.

Both Planning and Corporate Affairs Groups were mentioned by the Chairman who detailed recent changes. Hilary Lawrence, formerly Vice-Chairman and Chair of Planning, has stepped down from those roles, and the Chairman paid tribute to her support, and her long, dedicated and enthusiastic service. Stephen Robinson, also a member of the Association’s Planning Group, has decided not to stand for re- election after many years as a director.

The meeting elected three new directors, Jonathan Davey, Owen Longden, and Brian Lawrence.

The Chairman thanked the Association’s staff, volunteer directors and committee members, and all those involved in supporting and running the Association, which was in a healthy financial position, its turnover approaching half a million, and currently employing around thirty staff.

Following the formal business of the AGM, members enjoyed refreshments, followed by an excellent and stimulating presentation by Dai Larner, Executive Director of High Peak and Staffs Moorlands Councils, on the processes involved and problems faced in the preparation of a new Local Plan.

For more information on the work of Buxton Civic Association, and how to join, please contact us on 01298 26978, or at

Macclesfield Civic Society visit to Buxton

Macclesfield Civic Society members on the Slopes.

Macclesfield Civic Society were given a warm welcome to Buxton on Saturday as guests of Buxton Civic Association. As well as a trip down Poole's Cavern a guided tour of the town was arranged to take in some of the historical buildings in Buxton.

Macclesfield Civic Society have a regular programme of walks and this was the first visit to Buxton for a number of years. Poole’s Cavern cave guide Ashley Cooper provided a fascinating and interesting account of the town’s well know, and some of the less well known buildings and their history. Taking in the Opera House and the Dome, who kindly allowed them to look inside, the group then went to see the Crescent and hear about the plans to restore it as a 5 star hotel. Ashley explained about the original function of the Slopes as part of " the taking the waters cure". A trip back through the Pavilion Gardens was followed by a brisk walk up to the Poole’s Cavern visitor centre, where they had tea.

The visit was rounded off by a trip down Poole’s Cavern where they appreciated the length of time that man has lived in and around Buxton and were entertained by stories of the outlaw Poole and the intrepid Victorians who opened the cave up as a show cave. Keith Smith Chair of Macclesfield Civic Society thanked Buxton Civic Association for their hospitality and for a fascinating and interesting afternoon.

Media, Filming and Press

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