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Buxton's Octagon Hall set to reopen in the Spring

The Octagon Hall at the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton is expected to open in May following major renovations to the Grade-II listed building.

High Peak Borough Council has invested £3 million to upgrade and repair the buildings and secure the future of the historic complex which plays a key role in supporting economic development and regeneration in the area.

The iconic building had to be closed to the public when remote camera surveys showed major potential safety issues in the roof, partly caused by poor quality repairs undertaken in the 1950s. Since then the Council has commissioned a wide-ranging programme of works including significant 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.

Although there have been no further major faults discovered, detailed solutions to many of the known issues could not be fully determined until each area was exposed. Putting these into practice while respecting the integrity of the building's listed status and best conservation practice has proved challenging, while also needing the recruitment of workers with rare and unique skills.

Whilst these complex issues have been overcome, the completion date for the works - originally expected for mid-March - is now scheduled for the end of April this year.

Councillor Tony Kemp, Executive Councillor for Tourism and Regeneration, said: "Work has been progressing well behind the scenes  and, whilst this date is several weeks later than we initially hoped for, it is not at all unexpected with projects such as this on historic buildings which, by their very nature, can throw up significant challenges. No doubt those who read our original press release will recall me saying something very similar then!

"The buildings at the Pavilion Gardens are amongst the most valued in the High Peak and their importance is increased by the cluster of heritage buildings surrounding them including the Grade I listed Crescent, the Devonshire Dome and the Opera House, not to mention the many smaller - but equally important - historic structures in Buxton.

"That is why we have set ourselves the highest standards for this project and we are continuing to work closely with our contractor and specialist consultants to ensure the quality of the work meets these standards and Heritage England guidelines.

"We are very excited to be nearing completion and looking forward to reopening and sharing the results of this significant investment with our residents, visitors and customers. In the meantime, we're planning celebrations to mark the reopening of Octagon Hall and the launch events targeted to take place in May.

"The initial programme of events in May will be organised in-house by our Pavilion Gardens team and those arranged by external event organisers will not commence until June. Especially given the potential for further delays to be caused by adverse weather we feel this is the more responsible course of action to avoid any disappointment. But we are really looking forward to welcoming back our many loyal customers."

Despite the delayed opening, from next month events will be held on the Promenade and in the atrium adjacent to the coffee bar until the Octagon reopens. Full details of the ever popular calendar will available on the Pavilion Gardens website in the coming days.

As planned, the Gardens Marquee has now been removed and the promenade is more accessible to the public.

Investment in the Gardens complex will continue with the next phase of plans due to be announced later this year.