News Speakers at Buxton include Joanna Lumley and Alan Titchmarsh

Speakers at Buxton include Joanna Lumley and Alan Titchmarsh

The Summer festivals have kicked off, and next on the list is the relaxing and unpretentious Buxton Festival, bringing opera, literature and socialising to the picturesque Peak District.

Joanna Lumley joins Alan Titchmarshto talk about her new book Joanna Lumley Absolutely, in a morning literary session. Other speakers at the festival include TV faces Kate Adie, Joan Bakewell, Jeremy Bowen, Michael Buerk and Germaine Greer. Politician Menzies Campbell will also speak at the festival, as will journalist Alain de Botton and comedian Barry Cryer.

Once a holiday spa for well-to-do Lancashire families, the town exudes faded elegance and an inviting allure. The Buxton Festival won a prestigious silver prize in the 'Best Event' category at the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, and the success of the festival is testimony to its increased funding from the Arts Council England, in the face of major spending cuts.

Chief executive, Glyn Foley, said: "It was a great relief to receive the news that our funding from Arts Council England remains intact. It is a vital source of income for us, ensuring our ability to produce high quality opera and to continue to bring international talent to Buxton."

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