MORE than half a million pounds has been granted to restore a historic bandstand in one of Glasgow's best-loved parks.

Plans are under way to bring the Kelvingrove Park bandstand and amphitheatre back into public use.

The project to raise the £1.8million cost of the plan has been boosted by a £585,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A planning applica-tion has been lodged and the work could begin as early as next year.

The bandstand, the only one of its kind in the city, was built in 1924 and at one time regularly attracted crowds of 7000 people. It closed in the 1990s.

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust is behind the plan for the structure, which is B listed and director Anne McChlery is hopeful it will be finished in time for the 2014 Common-wealth Games.

Organisations, including the city council, the Landfill Community Fund, Glasgow City Heritage Trust and distiller William Grant and Sons, have agreed to contribute to the cost.

A funding application is also being considered by Historic Scotland.

Two other Scottish parks received an early Christmas gift from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

More than £500,000 was granted to bring the Grand Fountain in Paisley's park back to its former glory.

And Hawick's Wilton Lodge Park, one of the most visited attractions in the Scottish Borders, received £2.6million for a full refurbishment.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: "This has been a difficult time for parks with unrelenting pressure to manage budgets, so we are delighted to bring some festive cheer.

"Our parks, and the historic features within them, are a wonderful legacy from our ancestors. They make a huge difference to the quality of life for millions of Scots."