A vision of the future for Buxton town centre is set to be revealed to the public next month.
In July last year, High Peak Borough Council (HPBC) was one of the first 50 areas, out of an anticipated 150 towns in total, to receive funding from the Government’s £1 billion Future High Street Fund (FHSF).
The borough council has since been working with partners to develop initial proposals to transform the Spring Gardens area, as part of a national initiative to create town centres fit for the 21st century.
Consultants for the council have been talking to property owners, potential commercial tenants, key organisations and community groups to start to develop the plans.
The plans will be on view at the Springs Shopping Centre this Saturday (1 February) from 10am to 2pm and on Monday 10 February between 1pm and 4pm for the public and businesses to give their feedback. Staff involved in drawing up the proposals will be available to talk to people about the plans and answer questions.
Cllr Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: “High streets and town centres across the country are changing due to the way that people live their lives and how they spend their money. Town centres are having to respond to this challenge by adapting their focus from being just centres of shopping to providing a much wider variety of uses and experiences which will bring people into the town centre - including leisure, office workspace and residential.
“We have a plan to ensure thriving towns and villages across the High Peak and that means re-thinking how people move around and enjoy being in them to create environments that people want to live, work and spend leisure time in.
“These proposals set out initial ideas for how we might achieve this and we’re excited to share them with people to see what they think. Please come along to these exhibitions and tell us your views so that together we can design a town centre that is fit for the future.”
Anyone who is unable to attend either of the exhibition events will also be able to view the plans on the HPBC website from Monday 3 February, where comments can also be submitted.
The FHSF is made up of two stages – an initial grant for the selected areas to develop proposals and a second, very competitive stage for those areas to apply for funding to implement their proposals which have to focus on how space can be converted for new uses to transform the town centre and cannot be used for retail development.
No guarantee has been given that Buxton will secure this funding and the proposals will also require substantial investment from the private sector and the Councils themselves.
Buxton’s bid will be submitted at the end of April and a decision is expected in the Autumn.
To find out more, visit www.highpeak.gov.uk and search for future high streets.
An artistic representation of Spring Gardens which was provided for the FHSF project (by Pam Smart)