Have your say on priorities to transform Buxton's high street

High Peak Borough Council is inviting views on what it should prioritise in spending £6.6 million to aid Buxton's struggling high street. 

Plans to transform Spring Gardens are being reviewed by council chiefs after the provisional funding was announced on Boxing Day back in December.  

The scheme was awarded the in-principle funding after successfully bidding to the government's Future High Streets Fund but received only 69 per cent of the total amount it requested.

To secure the funding, the council must submit revised plans by the end of February. 

Its 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.

A 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 Derbyshire County Council), and the potential for the medium-term development of new leisure and hospitality opportunities to boost the evening economy. 

The borough council say 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. But the council say it now needs to reduce or eliminate some of the elements after receiving £3 million less than the original bid. 

The money can only be spent on permanent physical features, and not to reduce rents or rates or to encourage specific shops, restaurants or businesses to come to the town.

With that in mind, the borough 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 to keep in the revised bid.

A short survey is now available at https://www.highpeak.gov.uk/FHSFBuxton. Responses are needed by midday on Monday 15 February. 

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.”

High Peak MP Robert Largan commented: “I’ve called on the Council to listen to local people and businesses and fine-tune their proposals as part of the bid.

“I’m pleased that the Council have now launched a consultation to get more views on the bid. I strongly encourage everyone to share their views.

“It’s really important that we make the most of this opportunity. Let’s work together to make Buxton and the High Peak even better.”

Main image:

An artistic representation of Spring Gardens which was provided for the FHSF project (by Pam Smart). 

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