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Council prepare to bid for lottery grant towards David Bowie bandstand

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:17 08 October 2018

An Edwardian bandstand in Beckenham where David Bowie performed could be set for a much-needed makeover. Picture: Bromley Council

An Edwardian bandstand in Beckenham where David Bowie performed could be set for a much-needed makeover. Picture: Bromley Council

Archant

An Edwardian bandstand in Beckenham where David Bowie performed could be set for a much-needed makeover.

Officers at Bromley Council are preparing to bid for a lottery grant towards refurbishing the Croydon Road Recreation Ground bandstand once played by Ziggy Stardust himself.

Bowie, one of the town’s most famous residents, graced the stage at the Beckenham Free Festival in 1969.

The listed structure is the last remaining marked McCallum and Hope bandstand in the country, and has been the setting for many musical performances in Beckenham.

Following a survey in 2013 it was identified that the bandstand needed significant repairs to stop it slipping into decline, or even removal.

Council documents explain: “Community consultation and feedback has demonstrated significant local support for the restoration activities, alongside increased opportunities for the wider public to learn more about and engage with the bandstand’s heritage through events, activities and training.

“Based on feedback from existing and potential users, there is also a need for improvements to facilitate easier utilisation of the bandstand by musical and theatrical groups.

“For example, the current floor space of the bandstand is not large enough to accommodate some performance groups.”

Croydon Road Recreation Ground has a friends group, which, in conjunction with Memory of a Free Festival, has been actively fundraising towards the cost of the repair works through Bowie-inspired concerts and crowdfunding.

According to a new report, set to be agreed next week, officers at the council are preparing a bid of £89k to the Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Programme, to contribute towards the £245k project.

A previous bid was blocked, but it’s thought a second attempt will be accepted due to the amount of match-funding already secured.

Should the money be secured, work on the bandstand could start in March next year – following a report to top Bromley councillors asking them to sign off on the spending.

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