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£3.5m restoration secures Pavilion Gardens future

Published on 7 March 2023

The £3.5m restoration of the buildings at Buxton's Pavilion Gardens is now complete safeguarding the future of this historic leisure venue for generations to come.

High Peak Borough Council has invested this significant sum in the Grade-II listed buildings to secure the future of the complex which plays a key role in supporting economic development and regeneration in the area.

The six-year project has been carried out in three phases:

  • The first two phases saw major structural repairs to the famous Octagon dome, replacement of the floor and the supporting sub-structure as well as upgrades to the mechanical and electrical plant at the complex. The Central Section roof and rain water goods were also repaired. Interior and exterior paintwork was restored to the original colour scheme which was identified after painstaking research into paint chippings taken from fixtures and fittings.
  • During phase three at the North front entrance and East Pavilion, the timber window frames and central panelling were replaced along with sympathetic re-glazing. Electric windows have been installed in the roof to aid ventilation and drainage to ensure the Conservatory remains a fit-for-purpose house for plants. The two domes at the North entrance have been cleaned, re-painted and re-wired and had new lighting fitted. The 12 cast-iron columns and hopper heads were also hand-cleaned and re-painted in the original heritage colours.

And to mark the completion of this major project, the Council invited contractors, staff and volunteers who have worked on the project to an official opening event in the newly-restored Conservatory in the East Pavilion.

Council Leader, Councillor Anthony Mckeown, said: "It was great, alongside the High Peak Mayor, to thank some of the people who have worked to bring this most recent rejuvenation of the Pavilion Gardens to a completion.

"The beautiful surroundings of the Conservatory, and the rest of the Pavilion Gardens, are highly regarded by locals and visitors alike. We hope that the investment we've made in these buildings will safeguard them for many, many years to come so that they remain a special place within Buxton and the High Peak."

The Council engaged contractors from the local region to work on the project including Restoration Projects from Hadfield and TAD architects from Sheffield. Gardeners from Chatsworth were also involved in the work at the Conservatory donating both their time and even some plants.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: "This has been a truly collaborative project and I'd like to thank everyone - contractors, staff and volunteers - who have played their part in it. The results speak for themselves and I'm delighted that with the re-opening of the Conservatory we can welcome people back to enjoy the whole complex inside and out.

"The Pavilion Gardens has a long and distinguished history and has been a treasured leisure venue for visitors, and Buxton and High Peak locals, for hundreds of years. The work that we've undertaken over the last few years means it will continue to be so for generations to come.

"Throughout this project the Council has respected the heritage of these buildings whilst making them fit for the future. It's a project we, and all those who love this place, can be rightly proud of."