Nestled in the heart of the Peak District, Buxton has long been treasured as a site of treasured British heritage. Famed for its Georgian and Victorian architecture, history thrums in every nook and cranny, each building a page in a living history book. Yet, the march of time can wear away even the grandest of façades, and thus the stage is set for a historic rejuvenation.
A Boost for Britain’s Historic High Streets
Stepping into the spotlight is the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) scheme, a campaign orchestrated by Historic England. This initiative champions the restoration of historic high streets across the country, recognising their vital role in preserving our nation’s character and history. The HAZ scheme, generously funded by Historic England, local councils, and other contributors, is a bid to reawaken the cultural spirit embedded in historic cities, towns and villages.
Buxton’s High Street Revival
In Buxton, the HAZ scheme focuses on the Spring Gardens area, breathing new life into its traditional shopfronts, signage, and external façades. Vacant listed buildings are being repurposed, and heritage interpretation points are being installed to enlighten visitors about the area’s rich history. The plan also includes cultural and educational programmes that celebrate the heritage of Buxton’s high street.
renaissance: Masters of Heritage Engineering
At the heart of this rejuvenation are our heritage engineers here at renaissance. Our team bring a unique combination of traditional craftsmanship knowledge and innovative design to the project, ensuring the work is expertly tailored to the structures we’re working with.
Working on historic buildings is no small feat. It requires a deep understanding of traditional materials and techniques, yet also the ability to integrate modern amenities without disrupting the original aesthetic. From the outset of the project, our heritage engineers were completely dedicated to preserving and elevating Buxton’s historic charm.
Adapting to History
Renaissance’s approach is one of careful adaptation. Every project is a dialogue between the engineers and the building itself, spoken in a language of stone, wood, glass, and steel. Our team is fluent in this language, gleaning the story of a building’s past and composing the next chapter in its story.
As engineers, our plans must be flexible and ready to accommodate the unexpected discoveries that are the hallmark of heritage work. Hidden architectural features, long-lost design elements, or signs of historic alterations – all these can require a quick change of plans or a new strategy to incorporate these elements while ensuring the building’s functionality and safety.
With work now on-site at two locations, the process of restoring and reinvigoration has begun, striking a perfect balance between preservation and innovation.
Through the support of the HAZ scheme and the diligent work of all involved in restoring the area, Buxton’s historic charm will be rejuvenated for future generations to come.
Photo credit – Bench Architects