Crescent project is still on track for 2015

The first phase of work at Buxton's iconic Crescent is now complete. Photo - Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership and Derbyshire County Council. Photo contributed.
The first phase of work at Buxton's iconic Crescent is now complete. Photo - Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership and Derbyshire County Council. Photo contributed.

Work to restore Buxton’s magnificent Crescent is on track, and the five-star luxury spa hotel will still open in 2015, its developer has said this week.

Trevor Osborne, of the Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa Company, said he was pleased with how the first phase of work had gone, and confirmed the project was still on course for completion in the next two years.

The long-awaited £35 million transformation of the Grade I Listed building and adjoining Grade II Listed Natural Baths and Pump Room will see the creation of a 79-bedroom, five-star hotel incorporating the neighbouring Natural Baths; a new visitor interpretation centre; a state-of-the-art thermal, natural mineral water spa and seven specialist shops.

The first phase of work on the project began last year and now it has been completed, the main part of the project can begin in the spring.

“We’ll be putting adverts out soon inviting national and local contractors to apply for the main contract,” said Mr Osborne.

“The best time to start that contract is in the spring time when we can get a full run of the summer months.

“That is just being practical about it. The Buxton weather has not helped with the enabling works and held us up for three months.

“We never expected that as soon as the enabling works were complete we would be moving onto the main contract, there was always going to be a gap.

“It has taken longer because some complications arose but the enabling works were the most risky part of the project and they were successful.”

The main part of the work is inevitably complex, and will have to be carried out extremely carefully to meet the requirements necessary with a building of this kind.

“We’ve got to strengthen the building as it wasn’t designed to have bathrooms with each bedroom.

“There’s some extensive chemical and electrical installations needed and there’s some changes to the layout, as well as some sensitive work in the spa area. That has got to be very carefully done as it is a listed building. We’re still aiming to open in 2015.”

And responding to claims the building hasn’t been left watertight, Mr Osborne said: “It is left watertight. There is one area on the roof where we’re going to have to do some repair work before winter.”

He added: “I’m very pleased to have completed the enabling works, we are delighted with the sensitive part of the project and are very pleased to be able to say that has been successful.

“We are now looking at continuing with the main contract starting in the spring.”