Ultimatum set for roofless Swanage bandstand

Image source, Barry Shimmon
Image caption, The bandstand is sunken in to Swanage's recreation ground

A 96-year-old bandstand on the Dorset coast will be dismantled unless a viable offer is made to repair it.

Swanage Bandstand, dating back to 1923, had its roof removed due to storm damage in 2012.

The town council said it would fill in the sunken site if no proposals for restoring or replacing it are made in the next six months.

The Swanage Town Band, which performs at the venue, said it was consulting its members over its future.

The bandstand, located in the town's recreation ground, was found to be structurally unsound when refurbishment work started in 2012.

It was hoped it would be restored prior to the London Olympics torch relay passing through the town, but the council said the structure had deteriorated beyond repair due to ground movement.

It is estimated a new bandstand would cost more than £80,000.

Image source, Robin Webster
Image caption, The bandstand roof was removed in 2012

Conductor David Cook said the Swanage Town Band had played to crowds of up to 200 people last summer.

He said there was "concern" over its future and the band's members were in the process of "formulating a consensus".

The council said it would look for alternative sites for live music performances.

Mayor Steve Poultney said: Swanage Town Council is fully committed to identifying an appropriate outdoor performance space for live music and is open to all options.

"In particular, improvements could be made to Prince Albert Gardens, which has become increasingly well used by local event organisers in recent years."

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