UPDATE: Lancaster council accused of neglect over park bandstand demolition

The bandstand in Ryelands Park in Lancaster.
The bandstand in Ryelands Park in Lancaster.
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Plans to demolish a bandstand in a Lancaster park due to a lack of funding has caused uproar.

Ryelands Park’s bandstand is set for demolition according to Lancaster City Council.

The bandstand which has been fenced off for a number of months hasn’t received enough funding for restoration.

Paul Rabbitts, said: “Shocking and wanton vandalism by the council who have not maintained the bandstand in anyway whatsoever.

“I visited it about 18 months ago and was shocked how bad it was.

“I do not accept that the local community see no future for this bandstand or the local authority.

“It dates from 1911 and emanated from Morecambe and appears to be spending its last days in a park where it has been neglected shamelessly.

“There is funding out there. The Heritage Lottery Fund have funded nearly 120 bandstand restorations in the last 20 years.

“They are being re-used up and down the country once again for a wide range of community events.

“This bandstand deserves better than this.”

Bids have been made in the past to move the bandstand to Happy Mount Park in Morecambe but these were rejected by city councillors.

Coun Brendan Hughes, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The council has made various attempts to maintain the bandstand in the past but the structure has further deteriorated.

“It is because of this that based on the views of the community, and agreed in the masterplan for the park, energy has been focussed on other areas of the park which are more sustainable and will bring greater benefits to local residents and other visitors to the park.”

A masterplan for the park on Owen Road was developed and adopted in 2012 after numerous community events and plans were approved to restore the park as a focal point for the community.

Lancaster City Council and the Friends of Ryelands Park (FoRP), Lancaster University and Lancashire County Council have worked together to contribute ideas and gather views from residents.