Trumpet call for bandstand

In spite of the total cost of installing a bandstand for Spalding rising by the month, the determination to provide a venue for musical events is as strong as ever.

It is now estimated the total cost for a bandstand in Ayscoughfee Gardens could be £100,000.

According to Spalding Town Forum, this figure includes the cost of the bandstand itself at around £40,000 and installation costs.

George Aley, Town Forum chairman, said: “Once you add the cost of what’s needed so it can be used by a pop group or band, estimates blossom.”

The Forum is applying for section 106 money from the Springfields retail development to contribute to the cost. Other avenues, including lottery funding, are being explored by Harry Drury of the Spalding and district Chamber of Commerce.

Members of the Town Forum first came up with the idea in August last year when the plan was considered as a contender for its £27,000 underspend.

It was felt that as there was no outside venue for bands, the town has missed out on musical events such as those held in Donington and Holbeach.

Since then, providing the town with a bandstand has remained on the agenda as a project spearheaded by Couns Graham Dark and Harold Johnson in the hope one could be in place by midsummer.

After the Forum meeting in January, talks were being held about the possibility of holding a Party in the Park in the gardens.

Coun Dark said he knew of several brass bands keen to play in Ayscoughfee Gardens and this would be an attraction for residents who went there for relaxation.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones reminded members it was important any design that was agreed did not compromise Ayscoughfee Hall, as it was a listed building.

Mr Aley said: “We are determined to have a bandstand and pursue enough funding to cover the cost. It’s no good just putting anything up - we have to raise enough to provide a facility big enough for a band or a pop group so events can be held.”