Council pulls controversial bandstand project

CEREDIGION County Council has decided to pull the earlier affirmed plans for the redevelopment of Aberystwyth’s bandstand, located on the promenade. The council cited “significant additional costs” as the reason behind throwing out the current plans and stated that they would now consider other options.

View of proposed design for new bandstand from junction Terrace Road

View of proposed design for new bandstand from junction Terrace Road

The £1m project was met with disagreement due to the proposed design of the new bandstand. Some residents had stated in November last year that the plans were too modern and big to fit in with the rest of Aberystwyth. Residents had commented that the plans were ‘obtrusive’, ‘horrific’, ‘a complete joke’, ‘an eyesore’ and ‘a waste of taxpayers’ money’. Despite this, the plans were given the go ahead in February after being put on hold due to the storms earlier this year.

The cost of the project was said to be larger than previously thought, with a Council official stating that that these additional costs were “at a time when contract tenders and prices for capital schemes in Aberystwyth are increasing”. Mark Strong, an Aberystwyth Town Councillor stated that: “Ceredigion Council has a duty to protect value for money for its taxpayers”.

The current bandstand has been in place since 1935 and its proposed removal led to the organisation of the ‘Save Aberystwyth Bandstand’ campaign, which set up an online petition that has gained more than 2,000 signatures. A council spokesman stated that they were aware that much of public strongly opposed the proposal.

The plans, as outlined previously by ASM, were to include a two-story bandstand that held both a performance venue and a restaurant. The plans were also to include a new sea wall to protect the new building.

With Aberystwyth being a regeneration area since 2009, the Aberystwyth Regeneration Board has set aside £918,750 for the redevelopment of the bandstand. This money would have to be used by the end of the next financial year.

The Council is hoping to deliver a new plan by March 2015.