Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campaigners Win Bandstand Battle; A Landmark Victory for the Residents of Seaside Town

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campaigners Win Bandstand Battle; A Landmark Victory for the Residents of Seaside Town

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

D ELIGHTED campaigners have won their battle to save a traditional bandstand in a Northumberland seaside town which wants to attract more tourists and visitors.

Anger erupted when the steel bandstand - which has been a landmark in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea since the 1930s - was suddenly earmarked for demolition last year under plans to "de-clutter" the central piazza area next to the promenade.

The Journal revealed three months ago how 132 people had signed a petition calling for it to be saved, along with colourful floor mosaics which surround it.

Now the bandstand is to stay and get a welcome facelift, after council bosses did a U-turn on the townscape regeneration plans for the Quay Wall area.

People who responded to a second consultation exercise on the scheme gave 84% support to the bandstand being retained. It will now be refurbished with a new colour scheme and paving.

The revised scheme also involves changing the area's layout, levels and access, adding new seats and bins and improved lighting.

However, mixed views about the floor mosaics, coupled with their poor condition, have led to the conclusion that they should be removed.

Last year's petition was organised by local resident Eva Hartley, vice-chairman of the Newbiggin Community Partnership and a member of the KEAP Creative group of artists.

Yesterday she said: "I am absolutely delighted about this, and it is wonderful that what people want has been listened to. "What caused the furore was that, in the initial consultation on the Quay Wall scheme, the bandstand was to be refurbished, but then they suddenly decided to knock it down.

"Newbiggin has had a bandstand since the 1930s and traditional seaside resorts have all got bandstands. We should be building on that tradition, not destroying it. People want to retain it and that is what has happened, thanks to the petition.

"It is sad to see the mosaics go but they have suffered damage from the recent bad weather. …

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