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Heritage asset restored to former glory

One of Wisbech's finest heritage assets has been officially re-opened following a £62,000 refurbishment.

Wisbech park bandstand

Wisbech Park bandstand has been restored to its former Edwardian glory, with the sound of music returning to the 109-year-old centrepiece for a special unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, July 26.

Wisbech Mayor Steve Tierney was invited to cut a ribbon to mark the culmination of the revamp project, along with his wife, Mayoress Marie Tierney, guests from the town's St Augustine's Day Care Centre, Fenland District Council's Portfolio Holder for the Environment Peter Murphy, and the Council's parks and open spaces manager Bob Ollier.

The restoration, funded with £30,000 from not-for-profit organisation WREN and £32,113 from the Council's Section 106 funding, has ensured the historic gem can be enjoyed for generations to come.

In a speech at the re-opening ceremony, Mr Ollier also said the project topped off years of hard work to develop Wisbech Park.

He said: "Wisbech is very lucky to have such a wonderful park, with children's play areas, tennis and multi-use games areas, picnic areas, a bowling green, a maze, over 240 beautiful trees, sculptures, bird and bat boxes and, of course, in pride of place our refurbished bandstand.

"I feel privileged to see the park today and the transformation that has been undertaken in the 14 years that I have worked at Fenland District Council. It has been a long journey but we have now arrived."

The bandstand renovation work included a new thief-proof roof, a new floor, installing new electrics and lighting, refurbishing all the ironwork, and surrounding railings and gates, and repairing and levelling the paving slabs.

In his speech at the ceremony, Cllr Murphy said: "I hope you think it is money well spent to be able to enhance the park for users for many years to come."

Cllr Tierney also gave a speech and told how many people had commented to him during the Wisbech Rose Fair what a great town Wisbech was.

"We sometimes take it for granted and perhaps don't always see what's in front of us," he said. "We now have a fantastic bandstand and I look forward to it being enjoyed once again."

Thanks were paid on the day to all those involved in the project, including Peter Humphrey Associates, who completed the bandstand design and planning work free of charge.

Thanks were also paid to everyone who attended and supported re-opening event including Foodmaster Catering and Franks Ices, who supplied refreshments and ice-cream free of charge, Roy McManus and Friends, who also gave up their time for free to provide music and entertainment, and ISS World for setting everything up.

Cheryl Raynor, WREN's grant manager for Cambridgeshire, said: "It's wonderful to see the bandstand restored to its former glory and ready to be used once again as a fabulous base for entertaining people across Wisbech and the surrounding areas. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved."

Article added: 31 July, 2017