Park bandstand to remain closed
PUBLISHED: 13:30 02 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:31 02 September 2013
WESTON'S bandstand will remain closed for the foreseeable future after renovation attempts revealed it to be more badly damaged than previously feared.
More than three months ago a contractor was appointed by North Somerset Council to fix the panels and repaint the underside of Grove Park’s historic bandstand.
But initial investigations have revealed the amount of work required – plus the overall cost – is far greater than first envisaged.
A conservation architect has been called in by North Somerset to investigate the condition of the Victorian music stage, especially the roof, after extra problems were uncovered.
A council spokesman said: “Safety has to be the number one issue.
“We have to get it sorted properly before we can get it back in use. The delay is frustrating.”
The bandstand normally holds regular concerts throughout the summer months but the difficulties in fixing it have meant the weekly Sunday shows have had to be performed on the grass instead.
Peter Skellen, RAFA Concert Band musical director, said the bandstand – first opened in 1891 – was a vital part of Weston and needs to reopen sooner rather than later.
He said: “Grove Park is still the premier park in Weston for a lot of people.
“It has an appearance of grandeur and for those performing on it being raised up above the level of the grass also gave you protection from people playing in the park.
“At the moment bands have to play on the grass and this certainly does not help to promote a good sound. Whereas the concrete floor of the bandstand helps to resonate the sound along with those ceiling boards.
“Is this another case of let the infrastructure rot away then we will have to pull it down? It smacks of a few other places in the town undergoing this sort of treatment at the moment.”
The work was originally expected to cost £12,000 but the figure is expected to rise when a fuller picture of the repairs emerges.