L to R: Felicity Goodey, the Duke of Devonshire, Lesley Garrett and Randall Shannon
Photograph: Richard Hubert Smith The Duke of Devonshire, President of Buxton International Festival and Lesley Garrett have launched an appeal to safeguard the Festival’s financial future by raising £1.5 million over the next three years.

Over the past four decades, Buxton International Festival has grown from a relatively small operation to celebrate the restoration of the exquisite Frank Matcham designed Buxton Opera House, to one of the UK’s leading arts events; a cultural celebration of the best opera, music and literature. The Festival features promising rising stars in the arts world, as well as prominent international singers, artists and literary figures performing in a packed summer programme of 120 events over a 17-day period to an audience of over 30,000. Buxton International Festival costs £1.5 million to stage each year. Income from ticket sales covers less than half of that cost. The Festival’s supportive Friends raise £200,000 a year and the Festival are grateful to have National Portfolio Organisation status from Arts Council England together with funds from University of Derby.

However, the 40th Anniversary Appeal aims to put the Festival on a more secure financial footing going forward. The fund will give the Festival the confidence to look forward to an artistically ambitious future; nurturing new talent, engaging with wider audiences and developing what can be offered as a key part of the cultural regeneration of Buxton. “We have come a long way; with your continued backing and enthusiasm, we will secure our financial future. A fund of £1.5 million will give the Festival the backing it needs to move into its fifth decade as the flagship event carrying Buxton’s name into the global arts arena.” Buxton International Festival Chairman, Felicity Goodey.

“Buxton International Festival needs financial security to help the town become one of Britain’s most exciting new cultural destinations. The quality of our operas, concerts and literary events today, together with our beautiful buildings and countryside, is attracting new audiences from all over the country and increasingly from overseas, which will bring new life and prosperity to the town. The 40th Festival will coincide with restoration of the magnificent Georgian Crescent to its former glory as a five-star spa hotel, while the town, together with the local authority and the University of Derby is now working on developing Buxton’s tourist potential. Buxton is poised to become one of the most exciting new cultural destinations in Britain.” Buxton International Festival President the Duke of Devonshire.

“The Festival currently generates £3 million for the local economy, with a return to the community on investment in the Festival of 45%. It is a highlight of the cultural calendar and the funds raised by the anniversary appeal will create a financial base allowing the Festival to grow. Our vision is to increase the international profile, run a year-round festival programme and strengthen our local connections.” Buxton International Festival Executive Director Randall Shannon.


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