Living and thriving

Derbyshire to showcase half billion of investment at MIPIM.

Published on 15 March 2018

As Derby and Derbyshire head out to MIPIM as part of the Midlands UK Pavilion, Frank Horsley, head of economic regeneration at Derbyshire County Council will present, alongside senior representatives from Birmingham and Coventry, as part of a 'Living and Thriving' panel hosted by Estates Gazette. The panel will discuss the effects leisure and tourism have on the economic development and Derbyshire brings a wealth of opportunity to the table.

A key part of Derbyshire's investment offer is the market town of Buxton founded by the Romans, it later became a famous spa town in the 18th and 19th centuries. The development of Buxton Crescent to a five-star thermal spa hotel and visitor centre brings huge opportunities for the town. The project, which received a £23.8m Heritage Lottery Fund award, one of the largest awards granted outside London, is a partnership between High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Trevor Osborne Property Group and CP Holding Ltd, the outright owner of the Danubius Hotel and Spa Group − Europe's largest hotel and spa operator. VINCI Construction UK started work on the £46m redevelopment in 2016 and the hotel and spa and pump room will open in 2019. The crescent development will place Buxton firmly back on the map as England's leading spa town.

The crescent, built by the fifth Duke of Devonshire, has strong links with the Chatsworth Estate in the stunning Peak District National Park as the current Duke of Devonshire is the patron of the Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa Heritage Trust. The Chatsworth Estate is an important part of the visitor economy and the Duke of Devonshire is a strong advocate of the excellent quality of life on offer in Derbyshire.

The Duke of Devonshire commented:

Derbyshire is a wonderful part of the world, with many and varied reasons to live here and visit. As a university, spa and market town, Buxton is one of those reasons. Built by my ancestor the fifth Duke of Devonshire, the Crescent has been part of Buxton's history for over 200 years, and I hope that its current redevelopment will play a pivotal role in the continued renaissance of Buxton as a leading spa town. At Chatsworth, we look forward to playing our part in the next stage of Buxton's story.

A key strand in the development of Buxton is the development of the University of Derby, which has a campus in the town. The university recently announced a one-million-pound investment to refurbish the Grade II listed Devonshire Dome to create a centre of excellence in hospitality, tourism and spa management. The University Devonshire Spa was crowned best 'Luxury Emerging Spa in Northern Europe' at the prestigious World Luxury Spa Awards 2017, in Vietnam.

Having received an additional £62,500 in Heritage Lottery Funding for a specialist study into how Buxton can best capitalise on the renaissance of its heritage buildings and its legacy as a centre for wellbeing, the town should be at the top of visitors' 'must visit' lists.

Derbyshire has long been a destination of choice to live, work and play. With over 35 million visitors per year, the tourism economy in Derbyshire is thriving. Iconic brands and stunning locations such as the Peak District National Park, Chatsworth House and the National Forest attract millions of tourists each year and encourages more businesses to set up or locate in Derbyshire. The county has a unique lifestyle offer and Derbyshire's residents have easy access to both an area of outstanding national beauty and to major cities.

Frank Horsley, head of economic regeneration at Derbyshire County Council said:

Countless examples of living and thriving can be found right across Derbyshire from the famous Peak District National Park and Derbyshire Dales to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site - the birth-place of the industrial revolution. Derbyshire is proud of its industrial past and manufacturing is still at its core with twice the national average being employed in this sector. The visitor economy is also booming, and worth over £2bn with new developments of global significance such as Buxton Hotel and Spa and Peak Resort in Chesterfield coming forward. People and businesses thrive in Derbyshire, from entrepreneurs to large scale multi-national companies − innovation is in our DNA.

As Derbyshire's largest town, Chesterfield is and is also undergoing a huge change with major investments in retail, tourism and housing developments currently taking place. Peter Swallow, chair of destination Chesterfield said:

The first phase of £400m Peak Resort, which is set to launch in 2020, will help cement Chesterfield's reputation as a tourism town, harnessing its proximity to the Peak District. We have long recognised the tourist potential of the town and are making significant investment in the number of overnight beds available, creating additional hotel accommodation in both the town centre and at Basin Square in the first phase of Chesterfield Waterside.