If you’ve been to Buxton in the last 20 years, it’s likely you’d have noticed a stunning 18th-century building that was in something of a sorry state.
Buxton’s Crescent, built between 1779 and 1789, has been empty since the early 1990s, but now Vinci has taken on a complex reinvention of the building and the neighbouring spa in a £50m project.
It will be converted into a new luxury hotel and spa, with retail units on the ground floor, and a new-build element alongside.
The contractor opened up the site to visitors this week, with a group from Peak District National Park paying a visit to see how Vinci is progressing.
Vinci has been on site since early 2016, and as senior construction manager Gary Connor leads our tour it’s clear it’s a mammoth refurbishment job, with massive amounts of temporary works needed because of the poor state of the building.
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“A lot of ceilings had rotted away, meaning that we’ve had to install steel beams and temporary works to keep the building safe,” he explains.
Vinci is also revamping the neighbouring natural baths, which use Buxton’s famous water as a source.
But because of this unique water source, Mr Connor says Vinci have to take plenty of precautions - including having seven hydrogeologists on site.
Vinci is due to hand over the project for a 2019 opening, something which the site visitors are looking forward to.
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“It’s brilliant to see a complex project like this,” says one on the tour. “And it will be great for the town once it’s open.”
Our tour in the afternoon is Mr Connor’s second of the day, with a school group visiting earlier.
“They absolutely loved it,” he says.
“It’s great to show people what we do and how we do it, and all the different roles construction has to offer”.
Project: Buxton Crescent and Spa
Client: Danubius Hotels Group
Start date: February 2016
End date: Late 2018