Sussex

Refurbished Eastbourne bandstand hosts Christmas Day concert

Christmas concert at Eastbourne Bandstand Image copyright Graham Huntley
Image caption Christmas and New Year concerts have been held at Eastbourne bandstand since it was built in 1935

More than 4,000 people are expected to attend the first Christmas Day concert in an East Sussex bandstand since its £245,000 refurbishment.

Eastbourne's seafront venue will also host free concerts on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

The 79-year-old bandstand was shut last Christmas and New Year for restoration work funded by Eastbourne Borough Council and English Heritage.

The Christmas concerts date back to 1935, when the bandstand was built.

'Great atmosphere'

The structure needed to be refurbished after winter weather and salt air corroded the steel framework under its domed roof.

Work was also carried out to the colonnade and promenade seating areas, before it reopened for the 2014 summer season in May.

Eastbourne Silver Band will play carols and Christmas songs later, while the Ray Campbell Dance Band takes the bandstand stage on 26 December and New Year's Day.

"These concerts have such a great atmosphere and are a fantastic way for residents and visitors to join together in a lovely festive celebration," said Eastbourne borough councillor Carolyn Heaps.

Eastbourne seafront also sees a traditional Boxing Day dip, with swimmers setting out from the beach near the bandstand.

Image copyright Chris Parker
Image caption The bandstand reopened for the 2014 summer season in May with an Abba tribute concert

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