Aberystwyth bandstand regeneration design revealed

This year marks the third in a five-year programme designed by the Welsh Government to regenerate Aberystwyth.

View from junction Terrace Road  Photo - Alun Williams

Artist’s design of new bandstand: View from junction Terrace Road

The programme aims to make Aberystwyth a better place for business, residents and visitors and focuses on five main themes: creating a thriving and attractive town centre; enhancing sustainable transport in and around the town; improving the quality of homes for the local people; boosting the economy and employment and re-invigorating the seafront and promenade. They have been working on several projects, including the Mill Street Development, in order to improve Aberystwyth’s vibrancy and economy to “make sure Aberystwyth can fulfill its potential and be an attractive place to live, work and visit”.

At the beginning of the year, Ceredigion County Council and the established Aberystwyth Regeneration Partnership Board were awarded £35k for investigative work into the structure of the Bandstand podium, one of Aberystwyth’s quintessential attributes. Some of these funds contributed towards the payment for design work of the new structure planned for the seafront.

With a considerable amount of enhancements having already been made to the promenade, the Bandstand is the next milestone to be tackled by the regeneration team. Updates released by Alun Williams, a Bronglais Ward County Councillor, on the 13th and 15th of October show the artist’s impressions of the new Bandstand which have been submitted with the planning application. On his blog, Williams says that the plans on the application were described as “a new, two-storey public performance space and restaurant building” which are set to include a 72-seat café/restaurant with an outside balcony adorning a further 29 seats on the top floor. There will also be a 150-seat public performance space on the bottom floor, including public toilets.  The materials used for the exterior of the building are said to have unique sustainability properties, a resistance to all weather conditions and require minimal maintenance.

Artist's design of new bandstand: View from Victoria Terrace Photo - Alun Williams

Artist’s design of new bandstand: View from Victoria Terrace

Although the new Bandstand is set to create various new jobs, the new design does not appear to be well received, with comments on the design’s size and shape as being “obtrusive” and “sticking out like a sore thumb”.  Other remarks are concerned with it not fitting in with the rest of the prom’s general look, and it potentially blocking the view of Constitution Hill from a significant portion of the promenade.

Publications from the Partnership Board Meeting in April 2013 state that the Regeneration Area is currently committed to spend £2.3m for 2013/14. The report stated that the underutilised Post Office site and the Bandstand were highlighted as priorities along with quality housing provision for the foreseeable future.