Historic city bandstand on track with £585k boost

PLANS to restore a historic city bandstand have been given a £585,000 boost.

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An artist's impression of the refurbished bandstand
An artist's impression of the refurbished bandstand

The Heritage Lottery Fund gave a grant to the Kelvingrove Park project as part of a package of awards in the west of Scotland.

The bandstand was built in 1924 and opened to the public the following year.

It proved hugely popular, regularly attracting audiences of up to 7000 for open air concerts.

But since 2004 it has been on the Buildings at Risk register and is now in a critical condition.

As reported in later editions of last night's Evening Times, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust plans to transform the structure, creating a cultural venue during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond.

The HLF has also announced a £527,000 grant to restore the Grand Fountain in Paisley, which dates from 1868.

And Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock is to get £45,500 to help it develop a £3.1million bid by the Lottery to rejuvenate the park and its ancient buildings.

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

"Our parks and the historic features in them are a wonderful legacy from our ancestors which are enjoyed by all ages and are often a community's only green space in which to relax away from the pressures of daily life.

"That is why the HLF is committed to protecting these precious places."

Anne McChlery, director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, welcomed the £500,000 grant towards the cost of restoring Kelvingrove bandstand.

She said: "We knew when we were working on the project that there was a considerable cash shortfall, so we are absolutely thrilled we are able to give this project a boost.

"We still have a gap but it is not a huge gap, so we now intend to go out to tender in the new year which will give us the real cost. In the interim we are making other applications for funding and may be able to contribute to the shortfall."

Ms McChlery estimates the cost of the work is likely to be around £1.9m, leaving £300,000 still to be found.

She added: "The bandstand will not just be a one hit wonder for the Commonwealth Games but is about creating an open access cultural venue for the city in our of our premiere parks."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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