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Georgian hotel opens in Buxton 17 years after work begins

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image copyrightEnsana
image captionBuxton Crescent hotel has 81 bedrooms, a spa and three pools

A luxury hotel and spa has finally opened, 17 years after work began.

Buxton Crescent in Buxton, Derbyshire, was built in the 1780s by the fifth Duke of Devonshire as the centrepiece of a Georgian spa development.

image copyrightEnsana
image captionAttractions include a refurbished Victorian thermal pool filled with heated Buxton mineral water

The Grade I listed building fell into disrepair and in 2003 work began to turn it into a hotel and tourist attraction.

The original £32m budget went up to £70m after developers faced "just about every difficulty you could".

Buxton Crescent hotel has 81 bedrooms, a spa and three pools, including a refurbished Victorian thermal pool filled with heated Buxton mineral water.

Its operators, Ensana, said: "The hotel opening will revive the wellness traditions of this historic spa town."

image copyrightEnsana
image captionThe hotel also has a rooftop pool

It also claims the hotel will offer 140 permanent jobs and benefit the local economy by contributing more than £4.5 million a year.

The redevelopment of Buxton Crescent, jointly owned by Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Borough Council, faced delays from the start.

Planning permission was granted in 2010 after a seven-year legal dispute concerning protection of the Buxton spring was resolved.

image copyrightEnsana
image captionDevelopers discovered rotten timbers and 23 springs while redeveloping Buxton Crescent

The multi-million pound project then had financial issues when one of the investors, the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA), was disbanded.

In 2017 developer Trevor Osborne said: "We have had just about every difficulty you could have with a building project like this."

Rotten timbers and the discovery of 23 springs were among the physical challenges faced.

image copyrightDarbians Photography
image captionThe Grade I listed building had been empty for 25 years

Who has funded the project?

  • £23.8m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • £13.4m contribution from Derbyshire County Council
  • £2m grant from D2ND Local Enterprise Partnership
  • £600,000 grant from Historic England
  • £1.1m contribution from High Peak Borough Council
  • £11.3m loan from Derbyshire County Council to be repaid by Buxton Crescent Limited
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBuxton Crescent was built in the 1780s by the fifth Duke of Devonshire

The current Duke of Devonshire suspects his ancestor built the Crescent to emulate the facilities in Bath.

In 2017 he said: "I'm afraid when it was built by my ancestor, it was not built to a very high standard, so [the developers] have had to put that right."

However, when finished he said Buxton Crescent would be "the jewel in the crown of Buxton".

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Related Topics

  • Peak District
  • Buxton

More on this story

  • Buxton Crescent: Historic spa renovation costs likely to increase