Town daydream is just that

Jeremy Ireland’s daydream of a local spa is just that – a dream (Courier, last week) because Leamington is NOT Buxton.

Buxton water from St Anne’s well is delicious and the “UK’s number one mineral water”. It is marketed by Nestle Waters, important investors in Buxton. Leamington’s waters are so nasty that they “must be good for you” and are unsaleable. Thanks also to grants and international financing, Buxton will benefit from the restored Georgian Crescent hotel “the oldest in England”, Grade I listed, with 79 bedrooms and incorporating the natural baths. There are many other grand hotels in the town, built in the 19th century to house the guests of the Duke of Devonshire and still functioning as such – not redeveloped as shops and flats.

Leamington has no attraction for Danubius Hotels and other international spa developers. There are no luxury hotels for a rich and pampered clientele anywhere in the town, let alone within easy walking distance of the waters.

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Our Pump Rooms have recently cost the local community some £7 million to house essential cultural and social and educational assets: the library, the art gallery and museum, the tourist office, meeting rooms and a cafe – a successful conversion. If this asset were well managed and marketed it would be the jewel in our crown. Selling it is not an option: once sold, it is lost for good.

Marianne Pitts, The Leamington Society

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