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Buxton Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)

Heritage Action Zone for Buxton Announced! 

In May 2019, Historic England launched a new £95m fund to champion and revive historic high streets through the High Streets Heritage Action Zones as part of the Government's Future High Streets Fund initiative.  

This scheme will provide support for historic high streets and the communities who use them so they can adapt to the challenges they face. Working with local councils and communities, Historic England will deliver physical improvements and cultural activities to regenerate these high streets and restore local historic character. This revival will become the catalyst for wider regeneration, with heritage and local character at its heart.

The Council's intitial Expression of Interest to develop a Heritage Action Zone in Buxton has been approved and will compliment the Future High Street Fund application heritage elements of the town centre. 

The positioning of Buxton as a leading spa town and centre of wellbeing is crucial to its future development.The town has been an exemplar of heritage-led regeneration focusing on; its historic parks, the Crescent and spa buildings, the former Devonshire Royal Hospital, Opera House and the Market Place) 

The current retail environment of Spring Gardens does not reflect the high heritage value present elsewhere in the town and meet the expectations of a premier historic destination. It does not offer the variety and experiences that modern visitors want.  Without intervention, the recent closure of banks and national retailers will further acerbate its decline. 

The ambition of the council, community and partners is to make Spring Gardens part of the visitor experience by exploiting the high heritage value of the environment. This creates an exemplar, distinct and unique backdrop to generate;

  • New cultural experiences
  • High quality retail, food and drink establishments
  • Enhanced public realm
  • Night time economy and town centre living.

A number of these themes are reflected in the Future High Street Fund bid for Buxton. In order to complement this the HAZ would focus upon the following themes:

  • Production of a suite of guidance leaflets regarding traditional shopfront and signage.
  • Explore the restoration and continuation of the missing colonnade around the Cavendish Arcade
  • Repair and conversion of vacant listed buildings.  
  • Repair and restore the external façade of upper floors
  • Heritage interpretation at key visitor entrance points  
  • Offer a complementary face lift scheme to allocate small grants towards modern units to improve colour scheme and signage
  • Fund and deliver an education pack for school children.

Over the coming months the Council will be working with Historic England to put together a detailed delivery plan to enable the HAZ to commence in April 2020.

Contact Regeneration Team for further information.