5 April, 2012
Eastbourne Bandstand concerts are set to move home during May and June while the building receives some essential maintenance to its main ring beam.
Despite news of the repair work, a full programme of the concerts will continue as planned and will be moved to a temporary staging area on the beach, with many of them being offered free of charge.
The iconic seafront landmark underwent a routine bi-annual winter structural survey towards the end of 2011, indicating some repair work to the steel ring beam above the stage. Works started early February, however further investigation as part of a condition survey during the repair work last week revealed further damage behind the masonry, requiring a full replacement of the beam.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Neil Stanley said “The Bandstand is of major importance for Eastbourne and unfortunately it was only once works were well underway that we could see the full extent of the damage. A temporary repair is essential to keep the Bandstand open for much of the summer, followed by a full repair commencing at the end of the summer season, which will ensure the bandstands success for many years to come.”
The work is part of a planned programme of investment in Eastbourne’s historic landmark buildings which has identified those most in need of repair and refurbishment.
Leader of the Council, Cllr David Tutt, said: “After many generations of under-investment in Eastbourne’s architectural heritage, this council is now facing up to the need to properly examine how buildings like the Bandstand and the Congress Theatre should be safeguarded and improved.
“The Bandstand is high on our priority list of structures that require refurbishment. It is too early to say exactly how long this significant work will take in the winter, but I firmly believe we are fully committed to ensuring this iconic landmark is returned to its former glory.”
Work has already begun on moving the programme of May and June concerts to the beach venue, starting with the first summer season concert on 4 May. The venue will also include access for people with disabilities, including toilets and a viewing area. Some concerts will be free of charge, and more information on this will be announced soon.
Ticket holders will be informed of the venue changes after the Easter break, and audience members will be able to obtain refunds if they wish. Further updates will be sent through newsletters, local media, websites, social media, poster sites and a helpline number will be available for customers.
In the meantime, the Easter Sunday concert has now been cancelled due to the short notice and the free Titanic Memorial concert on 15 April is moved to the Congress Theatre.
Cllr Neil Stanley continued “Our Seafront team are currently busy finalising the details for these concerts and will be in touch with customers shortly to confirm the new arrangements.”
“Once the works are complete we’ll be back to business as normal and the Bandstand will continue as one of the UK’s finest.”
Private hires have all been cancelled for the duration of the closure and hirers have been contacted this week, including the Eastbourne Shout on 27 April.
Eastbourne Bandstand undergoes a structural survey every 2 years as part of its licence agreement. The works to the 1930’s listed building are being carried out by East Sussex County Council in partnership with Eastbourne Borough Council and English Heritage.
For more information and to obtain refunds, visit the Seafront Office, 6 Lower Parade, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD, open 10am to 5pm each day.
To contact the office email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 01323 410611, or visit the website for more details.