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Heritage at the heart of Buxton's regeneration

Published on 28 June 2023

Evoking scenes from the past may at first seem at odds with the creation of a fit-for-the-future town centre - but it's just one element of the multi-million pound regeneration of Buxton's Spring Gardens.

Following successful bids, High Peak Borough Council won millions of pounds of funding from both the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) and the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to rejuvenate the main commercial area of Buxton town centre.

The Council has acquired The Springs shopping centre -  a milestone in the Future High Streets project and key to unlocking the town centre's potential and delivering the much-anticipated regeneration and enhancements to the area in partnership with the local community and businesses.

At the same time, the HSHAZ project, with match-funding from the Council, is providing grant funding to support the repair and reinstatement of historic shop fronts and a diverse cultural and educational programme to celebrate the high street.

Works totalling more than £350,000 are now underway on new shop fronts, based on historic photos, at Ponden Homes and Fitzgerald's Bakery. 3C, on Grove Parade, has installed six new sliding sash windows based on original designs with funding of £10,000 from the scheme.

The Grade II listed former White Lion pub has also received £300,000 towards the restoration of the building which was at risk prior to approving a scheme to bring it back into viable use.

Work has included structural and timber repairs, re-roofing, stone wall and re-pointing repairs, renewal of rainwater goods, removal of asbestos and bay window reinstatement. The building is now structurally sound and further deterioration has been avoided.

And, in conjunction with the Buxton HSHAZ programme, the Council has appointed a specialist contractor to reinstate the missing urn from the slopes. This is being jointly funded between the HSHAZ and the Council.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: "It's fantastic to see these grant aided schemes to conserve important town centre buildings and restore traditional shop front scenes now taking shape - and what a difference it makes.

"The nature of town centres is changing and we want our high streets to evolve so that they continue to thrive. Schemes such as HSHAZ, which combine physical works and improvements to buildings with a programme of cultural events, are important because they respect our heritage whilst looking to the future.

"These shopfront heritage restoration projects, together with the £10.8m investment we're making through the Future High Streets project, will deliver a town centre which works for businesses, residents and visitors. The Council's approach to the revitalisation of Buxton town centre is to ensure that the commercial centre of Buxton matches the rich heritage for which the town is rightly famous.

"It's an exciting period for the town and we're looking forward to sharing more details and having more conversations with people so everyone can feel involved in a once-in-generation opportunity to transform their town."

As part of the cultural programme, a new interactive audio tour is bringing historic Buxton back to life in supernatural style.

Written by Buxton-born writers Tom Crawshaw and Alice de Cent, 'Old Haunts' invites locals and visitors alike to decide: will you follow the tour and learn all about Spring Gardens through the ages - or will you get side-tracked by an apparition on a mission? It's up to you to choose your path.

All you need is a smartphone, some headphones and a little time to hear from the colourful characters from Spring Gardens' past. Go to to access the spook-ridden drama.