In the meantime, a petition has been set on for local residents and the wider public to show their support for BMAG. If you do not want it to be lost from the town, please sign it: Please share it with your contacts and on social media/Facebook to spread the word.

Recent Investment

The ‘Wonders of the Peak’ exhibition within BMAG was re-developed in 2017 at a cost of £1.5m (with much of it public money, of which over £850,000 was Heritage Lottery funding  [ref] with other from Arts Council England and local grant body, The Bingham Trust [ref].


The museum, the only one owned by DCC for the whole of Derbyshire, is tasked with holding a number of collections including document archives for High Peak Borough Council and some of the historic venues in Buxton, such as the Pavilion Gardens and Buxton Opera House. It holds a photographic collection which includes many images from Buxton, notably the collection of J.R. Board, and an art collection which contains paintings and artwork bequeathed to the people of Buxton, such as the Funduklian Collection and the Gomersal Collection. It also holds a number of artefacts found in and around Buxton, such as fossils, bones, Roman coins, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian objects and one of the oldest pieces of pottery ever found in England, which was discovered in Lismore Fields. You can see a number of these artefacts on the museum’s blog here.

Event Venue

BMAG also has its place in the town as an event venue, including for its summer festivals, as a Buxton Festival Fringe venue and host to the Derbyshire Open arts competition, as Stephen Walker, chair of Buxton Fringe, explains:

The museum is a key venue for us and entrants will already be planning their events for July… it is a big blow to our Visual Arts category, particularly the loss of the prestigious Derbyshire Open. The Fringe is anxious that everything is being done to ensure that Buxton Museum will reopen as soon as possible.”

Its closure has also had a knock-on effect for other venues in the town. Footfall at the neighbouring Green Man Gallery has significantly dropped, according to volunteers at the gallery.

Who is helping?

On 19th June 2023, MP Robert Largan met with Secretary of State for Culture, Lucy Frazer, to raise the plight of the museum [ref]. She made representations to the Arts Council and promised to work with the council to get the museum open again. But we have heard nothing since.

Mr Largan has assured us that he is in regular contact with DCC and that the “matter is in hand”.  DCC provided him with the following update:

Alternative locations for temporary and long-term, display and storage of objects are being considered, and a collections management programme will be put in place to support this.  Once the decant is completed, the museum staff will turn their attention to developing this programme and also to finalising proposals for the Museum Service; you will appreciate these are being considered within the context of the Council’s overall budget challenges and its need to optimise use of all its buildings.”

Financial Support

A lot of public money has been invested in Buxton over the past decade, with the redevelopment of the Crescent and the rejuvenation of Spring Gardens. But much of this has gone to the support and benefit of the private companies which operate within the buildings. So what financial support is out there for a publically-owned building and museum?

What can be done to save the museum?


DCC has stated it considers the reopening of the building a long-term project [ref] but a number of ideas have been proposed and we would like to know if they would be working models moving forward:

  • The museum and collections are moved to a different building, like the Town Hall, and BMAG continues there
  • DCC gifts the artefacts and collections into the care of an independent organisation, such as a trust, charity or not-for-profit, with the aim of running an independent museum

Dave Green, CEO of Buxton Civic Association, who has only recently moved to the town, says, “There seem to be ideas and expertise that are being ignored. Without discussion and dialogue we can’t help find a way forward, and the ongoing lack of communication is disrespectful to the citizens of the town.”


Such proposals have led to a number of questions being raised from local residents and organisations:

  • What is DCC legally committed to deliver with respect to displaying and facilitating access to the collections?
  • Who owns the artefacts and collections held by the Museum?
  • What town archives does the Museum hold?
  • What does “DCC is committed to a museum service” really mean? How small could it go?
  • Would DCC consider handing over the museum?
  • Could DCC help support a transition to an independent museum with the current museum staff working to create it?
  • Why wasn’t the dry rot addressed when it was re-developed in 2017?
  • What does the 2017 redevelopment funding commit the museum to provide and for how long? Are they breaching contracts by remaining closed?
  • Might the museum move out of Buxton?
  • Wasn’t the Wonders of the Peak collection donated on the understanding that it remains in Buxton?
  • Are there plans to hold the Derbyshire Open Arts competition this year in another venue in Buxton or town in Derbyshire?
  • If its closure was a cost-cutting exercise at heart, how long will the museum staff be employed to look after the collections and museum assets?
  • Will the upcoming elections delay any work or decision-making about BMAG?
  • Will it become a political chess piece between the Conservative-led DCC and Labour-led HPBC?
  • Are other repairs to the building needed?
  • Has any external funding been explored for repairs?
  • What are the building requirements for a new Museum?
  • How much would it cost to sort out the building?

The intention is to discuss these, and other questions and suggestions, at a meeting later this year to which Councillors and representatives from DCC and HPBC will be invited to attend.