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Helping to put Buxton on the tourist map

We give financial backing to exciting £40 million redevelopment project.

Buxton

Tourism in the High Peak is set for a huge boost after we stepped in with financial support to allow developers to press ahead with an exciting £40 million project. 

We've agreed to lend developers a multi-million pound sum to make sure Buxton Crescent can be converted into a 79-bedroom 5 star spa hotel. 

The Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa project began a number of years ago when the county and borough councils sought to find a new use for The Crescent − jointly owned by both councils.

The Crescent is of national historic significance and its restoration will put Buxton and the north of the county back on the map. Work is now expected to start by the end of the year. 

The project was due to receive £5 million from the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA), but this funding was withdrawn when EMDA was disbanded by the Government in 2011. Four recent bids to the Regional Growth Fund (the Government fund which replaced Development Agency grants) have not been successful. 

The delay caused by losing the EMDA funding has meant that because of the current financial climate the developers have not been able to borrow the amount they need from banks. And it is this amount that we've agreed, in principle, to loan to them. Additional funds are also needed because of increased construction costs. 

The Crescent was built in the 1780s by the 5th Duke of Devonshire as the centre-piece of his Georgian Spa development. We took over half the building in the 1970s and used it as offices and a library. High Peak Borough Council has owned the other half of the building since 1993 (formerly the St Ann's Hotel). The Natural Baths were run by High Peak Borough Council as a public swimming pool from 1937 until 1972 and then as Buxton's Tourist Information Centre. 

The additional funding has been welcomed by the University of Derby, whose students at its Buxton campus will benefit. The hotel will offer work placements where students can gain vital experience.