Plans to transform Buxton’s Spring Gardens are being reviewed after provisional funding of £6.6 million from the Future High Streets Fund was announced at Christmas – and the Council wants the public to help set the priorities for how it will be spent.
High Peak Borough Council’s successful bid to the Future High Streets Fund saw the scheme awarded in-principle funding of 69% of the total amount requested. To secure the funding, the Council needs to submit revised plans by the end of this month.
The Council’s regeneration masterplan includes a new multi-storey car park behind The Springs enabling the re-use of the surface-level car parking for new homes, leisure and community facilities. Public consultation last year also revealed strong support for:
- New disabled friendly toilet provision
- New community services such as central library (subject to support from the County Council)
- The potential for the medium-term development of new leisure and hospitality opportunities to boost the evening economy
These elements will be retained in all working proposals.
The grant is for elements of the project that would not be fundable on a commercial basis. As the award is £3 million less than the original bid, the Council needs to reduce or eliminate some of the elements.
The money can only be spent on permanent physical features. It cannot be used to reduce rents or rates or to encourage specific shops, restaurants or businesses to come to the town.
With that in mind, the Council is now asking residents and businesses which of the physical elements of the scheme are most important to them to help inform which aspects stay in the smaller bid.
Public asked for their thoughts on how money is spent
A short survey is now available on the website and in order to meet deadlines they need responses by midday on Monday 15th February: highpeak.gov.uk/
Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: “We’re delighted that our bid has resulted in a significant funding offer, albeit less than we requested, and we’re now working hard to refine the proposals to fit that offer and a tight submission deadline.”
“We know how interested people are in the future development of Spring Gardens having received so many positive responses to our public consultation last year. So despite the tight timeframes we now want to hear which of the physical elements of the plans people most want to see included.”
The online survey is short and easy to complete and I would really encourage people to share their views with us – it will help us make these important decisions about what we all want to see provided along Buxton’s main shopping area to restore its vibrancy and ensure we have a thriving town centre for years to come.”