Towards the end of 2019, Buxton was successful in its application for funding from the Heritage Action Zone initiative, and the town passed the first stage of its application for funding under the Government’s Future High Street Fund scheme. Realising that, with the Crescent Hotel & Thermal Spa’s imminent reopening, the town’s retail and hospitality sectors needed more representation on its Board, Vision Buxton offered directorships to three local companies – Peak Inns Ltd, Isla Fine Art, Cards & Gifts, and Everything’s Rosy Interiors.
Vice Chair of the Board, Adrian Brown writes
“We are delighted to welcome them to the table. Mat Blackwood of Peak Inns, whose businesses include the Old Sun Inn, 53°North and The Duke in Burbage, has demonstrated confidence in the town’s future with his company’s ambitious growth over the last few years. Marie Cooper of Everything’s Rosy has also shown confidence in the town’s ambitions for future growth by expanding her businesses to include interior design services, sales of home accessories and a tea shop. Isla Dawes’ recent arrival in town to offer a carefully curated range of gifts, original art and prints has already expanded her business into additional premises within the Cavendish Arcade, thus demonstrating her belief that, with the opening of the Crescent, the retail and hospitality sectors can expect success in the years to come. Vision Buxton looks forward to the constructive and positive input our three new directors will bring to our organisation’s efforts to make our town an even better place in which to live, work and play, and to visit.”
Mat, Isla and Marie were appointed at our January 2020 Board of Directors meeting. Find out more about them below.
Isla Dawes moved to Buxton with her husband in 2017 to escape London and to be nearer her in-laws. She opened Isla Fine Art Cards & Gifts in the same year in the Cavendish Arcade and she took the bold decision to expand the shop into a neighbouring vacant unit just one year later. The shop is both an art gallery and arty gift shop which exhibits work by local artists. Isla has spent most of her career in the book trade in both bookshops and publishing. She spent 15 years running her own bookshops in London before re-locating to Buxton. This experience has given her a very firm grounding in bricks and mortar retail. She is still a very keen reader, she also enjoys going to the cinema, cooking and walking in the glorious Peak District. On joining Vision Buxton, she says:
“I feel that if you want a town to give you a living, it’s up to you to give something back. Vision Buxton is an important organisation… and I’m keen that all of Buxton benefits from any plans for the future”.
Mat, along with his wife, Emma, owns Peak Inns Ltd which now runs three establishments in the town: The Duke in Burbage, 53° North on Hall Bank and The Old Sun Inn on High Street. On joining the organisation, he says:
“We think Buxton has so much going for it, but there’s still a lot to do. As a vehicle that can affect change, Vision Buxton is the best we’ve got, so we should all use it. With the Crescent opening, now is the time to get involved.”
Marie Cooper began her business in 2011 with the interior design shop Everything’s Rosy, just off Spring Gardens. She has since expanded the shop with a vintage tearoom, and opened a second shop, Stylish Interiors, on the High Street. She has a degree in Business Management together with an art foundation qualification. On joining Vision Buxton, she says:
“I have joined Vision Buxton because I am interested in the progression of Buxton as a town and I decided to become a director to be a voice for retailers.”