Buxton: Resilient Cultural Heritage & the Role of the Visitor Economy

Thursday 17thOctober 2019
Devonshire Dome, University of Derby, Buxton, SK17 6RY

Rescheduled from earlier this year, this unique seminar-walking tour will look at how a heritage and tourism-led regeneration strategy for the historic town of Buxton is about to deliver a newly redeveloped and restored Buxton Crescent hotel, spa and Pump Room.

Exploring this key aspect of Buxton’s Visitor Economy Strategy and tourism plans for the wider Peak District, this is an opportunity to learn more from some of those directly involved in the heritage projects - including the local authority High Peak Borough Council, the University of Derby, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, Historic England, the developer The Osborne Group and more. The event includes visiting many buildings that fell into disuse between 1970-2000 and have since undergone regeneration:
·     the spectacular Devonshire Dome originally completed in 1789 as The Great Stables and later became part of the Devonshire Royal Hospital, offering hydrotherapy for the sick of the Lancashire cotton mill towns. More recently, it has been successfully converted for use as a new campus for the University of Derby.  It has the largest unsupported dome in Europe - beating the Pantheon and St Peter's Basilica in Rome, and St Paul's Cathedral in London;
·         the iconic Grade I-listed Georgian Crescent - one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the country, and one of the earliest complexes incorporating purpose-built hotels in the UK. Built by the 5th Duke of Devonshire in the 1780s, it established Buxton as a fashionable Georgian spa town for visitors;
·         the serene Grade II-listed Pump Room built in 1894 for the 7th Duke of Devonshire to take the waters - due to overcrowding at the Natural Baths; and
·         the Natural Baths, which evolved over many centuries and occupy the site of ancient Roman Baths situated over the main mineral water spring, with the current building built in 1853 and altered in the 1920s.
Each of these historic places now have new uses and occupiers, thanks to public sector funding including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, D2N2 LEP, Historic England and the local authorities together with private investment, and all are soon to be open to the public.

Topics include:
·         Developing a heritage-led regeneration strategy

·         Developing a strategic tourism market including towns, their natural assets and landscape settings

·         How the Buxton Visitor Economy Strategy has been developed

·         Delivering the vision to restore Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa

·         The significance of heritage assets in the visitor economy.


9:30am Tea and coffee on arrival

9.45am Welcome, Sarah Rawlinson Head of Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism, University of Derby & Steven Bee, Chair, HTVF

10am Introduction to Buxton and its heritage challenges and regeneration, Richard Tuffrey, Special Advisor, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and formerly Conservation Officer, High Peak Borough Council
10.30am Cultural Tourism – Buxton’s big opportunity!James Berresford, Chair, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust and formerly Chief Executive, VisitEngland
11am Q&A followed by tea/coffee
11:30am  The challenge and scope for Cultural Heritage-led Regeneration – Historic England’s perspective, Louise Brennan, Regional Director Midlands, Historic England
12pm The role of Historic Buildings and the Visitor Economy – the Developer’s perspective, Trevor Osborne, Chair, The Osborne Group and Director, Buxton Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa Company
12:30pm Q&A followed by lunch
1:30pm An Introduction to Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa, Trevor Osborne & Jonathan Dawson, General Manager, Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa

2pm Walk around the Crescent and Thermal Spa, the Devonshire Dome, Buxton Opera House and the Pump Room

3:30pm Close
Kindly sponsored by:  



 This event is being generously sponsored by High Peak Borough Council, the University of Derby, Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust, and Buxton Crescent Hotel & Thermal Spa Company.

This event counts as 5 hours of CPD. Join the HTVF now and save money – see for details.  


Whitchurch Silk Mill in Basingstoke. Photograph by Simon Burchell

Writing Supplementary Planning Documents & Strategies for the Historic Environment

Tuesday 12 November 2019, Kellogg College, Oxford
Tickets: £35-155
This seminar-workshop will look at best practice for writing policies for the future of heritage assets, their settings and enhancements.  We will explore what makes effective and clear policies and plan-making to protect historic environments, and the role that writing good guidance has in their future.  Delegates will learn about recent experience of preparing new heritage-related policies on:
  • the future of listed buildings, designated and non-designated heritage assets
  • development in the setting of heritage assets
  • Heritage at Risk
  • drawing up action plans for archaeology
  • shopfront guidance, and how to promote details that matter such as doors and windows
  • biodiversity, energy efficiency and green infrastructure
  • the criteria for local listing, and
  • the pitfalls and best strategies in a hands-on workshop session.
One of the case studies will be Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's new Heritage Supplementary Planning Document, which responds to the needs of very grand and well-known listed buildings such as Highclere Castle in the heart of Jane Austen country, to locally-loved heritage landmarks and high street shopfronts.

9.30am        Tea and coffee on arrival

9.45am        Welcome, Louise Thomas, HTVF Director

10am           Here’s one I made earlier: Tips for writing valuable Heritage-related Guidance, Christina Duckett, Principal Conservation Officer, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

10.45am      Developing a City-wide Heritage Strategy and Local Listing Strategy, TBC

11.15am      Q&A followed by tea and coffee

11.45am      Preparing a District-wide Heritage Strategy and the Role of Communities, Karen Britton, Planning Manager, Canterbury City Council

12.15pm      Q&A

12.45pm      Lunch

1.45pm        Approaching an Archaeological Action Plan, David Radford, Archaeologist, Oxford City Council

2.15pm        Introduction to Workshop: Louise Thomas & Christina Duckett

3.15pm        Tea and coffee

3.45pm        Learning From Elsewhere, Rob Lloyd-Sweet, Historic Places Advisor, Historic England

4.15pm        Community Involvement in Developing a Local List, TBC

4.45pm        Discussion & Close

This event counts as 6 hours of CPD. Join the HTVF now and save money – see for details


York: Keyhole Surgery

Increasing the Capacity and

Performance of Historic Centres

Thursday 21st November 2019
Friargate Meeting House, Lower Friargate, York YO1 9RL

Inserting large scale mixed-use development into historic centres requires understanding, imagination and confidence. The all-embracing, all-or-nothing master plan can work, but too often results in uncomfortable juxtapositions, poor economic performance or complete failure.  Intelligent master planning allows corrections and adaptations over the implementation phases to accommodate evolving understanding, exploit unexpected opportunities and respond to changing circumstances and expectations. All without undermining viability, compromising design quality or harming heritage assets.

York’s rich history represents centuries of urban evolution that continues today. This seminar and site exploration will interrogate the city’s plans for the future the development these are stimulating.
Participants will hear from the City's Archaeologist, City officers leading the renovation of the Guildhall and Castle Gateway major projects and the masterplanners of Castle Gateway and York Central.  They will learn how community representatives have come together to define community briefs for new places. The walking tour, led by City officers, will set these places firmly in their historical context.

The Guildhall is part of York’s most prestigious and historically significant complex, comprising Grade I, II* and II listed buildings built around the 15th century hall and riverside meeting room. It has been the seat of civic governance since the 1200s, and yet has seen minimal maintenance since 1942 bombing raids. A renovation project will bring the Guildhall’s historic role into the 21st century with new office space, greater community use and green technology.
Castle Gateway is described by the community conversation platform My Future York as "... an opportunity to identify new future uses, buildings and public space with the overall aim to create a part of York that is valued, well-used and loved."  Regeneration will create retail, leisure and residential facilities, to complement and reinforce the vitality of the city centre. It will also enhance the setting of Clifford's Tower and the quality of public space and accessibility throughout the area.
York Central, west of the city’s railway station and contained by rail lines, is one of the largest brownfield regeneration sites in England. With the National Railway Museum, private housing and businesses, the new neighbourhood has been designated a UK Government Housing and Enterprise Zone.  


9.30am            Tea and coffee on arrival

9.45am            Welcome, David Warburton, Head of Regeneration Programmes (York Central and Guildhall complex), City of York Council & Timothy Crawshaw, HTVF Vice-Chair

10am               York: A Unique Heritage Context, Peter Gouldsborough, York Civic Trust
10.30am          Hungate and major city centre projects, John Oxley, City Archaeologist, City of York Council
10.50am          The Significance of the York Guildhall project, David Warburton, City of York Council

11.10am          The Origins of the York Castle Gateway project, Andy Kerr, Head of Regeneration Programmes (Castle Gateway and City Centre), City of York Council

11.30am          Q&A followed by tea and coffee

12pm               Drawing out the meaning of place: The Castle Gateway Masterplan, Francis Glare, Head of Urbanism, BDP

12.30pm          York Central, Jason Syrett, Partner, Allies and Morrison

1pm                 Q&A followed by lunch

1.45pm            Community Engagement: My Future York, Dr Helen Graham, Leeds University and Phil Bixby, Constructive Individuals
2.15pm            Walking tour around York city centre
4.30pm            Close
This event counts as 5 hours of CPD. Join the HTVF now and save money - see for details.  This event has been kindly supported by City of York Council.


Abode, Great Kneighton, Cambridge, designed by Proctor & Matthews. Photo by Tim Crocker

Character, Quality & Design in Neighbourhood Planning and beyond

Tuesday 26 November 2019, Kellogg College, Oxford

Tickets £35-155​ 


This seminar-workshop on design quality is for communities and professionals alike, and will explore the role of design in Neighbourhood Planning and other policy-making contexts. As so many Neighbourhood Planning groups go through a learning curve consulting their neighbours, analysing and allocating sites, and finally writing policies, design quality is often understated.


Yet the quality and layout of new development makes a great difference to the future character of settlements. In the past some communities have prepared Village Design Statements to capture the local character and start to set out design parameters, and so this seminar-workshop will look at how to bridge the gap between identifying local character and specifying design quality in various ways. Delegates will hear about:

  • Locality's new Toolkit Achieving well-designed places through neighbourhood planning, and the funding support available for greater design aspirations
  • How to make your Neighbourhood Plan much more environmentally efficient
  • The role of pattern books in moving from seeing character to identifying design policies to deliver it
  • How top housing architects are responding to the challenge of housing growth and local character, especially in large developments - the Distinctively Local campaign
  • Best practice in writing design policies for neighbourhood plans with a strong heritage and design backdrop, and
  • a hands-on workshop session to explore the issues on the day.


9.30am        Tea and coffee on arrival
9.45am        Welcome, Louise Thomas, HTVF Director
10am           Neighbourhood Planning & Design Quality the story so far, Jeff Bishop, Executive Associate, Place Studio
10.45am      Supporting Design in Neighbourhood Plans – the new Locality Toolkit, Ben Castell, Director, AECOM
11.15am      Q&A followed by tea and coffee
11.45am      Lessons for Neighbourhood Plans: How Green is your Plan?  Dan Stone, Project Manager, Centre for Sustainable Energy
12.15pm      From Local Character to Pattern Books and Design Policies, Lisa Jackson, Jackson Planning
12.45pm      Q&A
1pm             Lunch
1.45pm        Distinctively Local – Responding to the Government's Building Better, Building Beautiful campaign, Simon Bayliss, Managing Partner, HTA Design
2.15pm        Introduction to Workshop: Defining the Essential Criteria for a Design Code, including site visit to Norham Road, Louise Thomas, HTVF
3.30pm        Tea and coffee
4pm            Successful Community-led Policy-making in Historic Settings: Rob Lloyd-Sweet, Historic Places Adviser, Historic England
4.30pm        Discussion
5pm            Close
This event counts as 6 hours of CPD. Join the HTVF now and save money - see for details and for more details of our work.