Dorset

Swanage bandstand reopens after years of campaigning

Bandstand
Image caption The bandstand was reopened on Saturday in wet and windy weather

A 1920s bandstand on the Dorset coast has been reopened after years of campaigning to get its roof restored.

The roof of Swanage's 96-year-old sunken bandstand was removed following storm damage in 2012.

The bandstand was reopened on Saturday after campaigners raised £130,000 to rebuild and repair it over two years.

Alan Houghton, who started the appeal to have it restored, said it was part of the town's "heritage" and it meant a lot to local people.

He said: "I am so proud of this town. We've got a special community here, the people of Swanage rally round."

Image caption Alan Houghton started the appeal in 2017 after claiming residents were "incensed" at the bandstand's condition

The venue, which is a rare example of its kind, regularly hosts performances, including by the town's brass band.

In 2017, the town council set an ultimatum that the site would be filled in unless viable option was offered to repair it.

In response, the Friends of Swanage Bandstand raised £130,000 and the council awarded £80,000 to the project.

Ahead of its reinstallation, the bandstand was taken to Wigan to be restored by ironwork experts, while the stonework base was also repaired.

Image copyright Swanage Band
Image caption Swanage Town Band has continued to play at the bandstand, despite its lack of roof

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