Crowds brave the rain as Bognor Regis bandstand officially unveiled

Crowds braved the wind and pouring rain last Sunday (October 3) as Bognor's newly-renovated bandstand was officially unveiled.

A performance by the Bognor Regis concert band was cut short on Sunday (October 3) as inclement weather brought a premature end to the unveiling of Bognor's newly-renovated bandstand.

Even so, Arun District Council Chairman Jim Brooks was pleased with the turnout: "I was delighted that so many people came along to the event- even the Wombles turned up!" he said. "Unfortunately, the band had to cut their performance short when the weather closed in, but they got a huge round of applause for trying.

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"I think everyone enjoyed the event and seeing how beautifully the bandstand has been restored. We now need to focus on making it as user friendly as possible so that it's simple to hire and events can be enjoyed by all."

Cutting the bandstand's ribbon

Sunday's event celebrated the recent completion of renovation works to the grade-2 listed structure. The project, worth £50,000, was the outcome of a successful funding application to the Coastal Revival Fund, and led to a variety of improvements, including new metalwork was added to the intricate bandstand railings, the roof enjoyed a complete renovation and the concrete floor and brick plinth were replaced with more appropriate materials.

Works were finished in April and the grand unveiling was due to take place shortly after, but had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. That made this weekend's concert something of a soft launch for a heritage structure that's been in regular use over the last few months, but Arun District Councillor Andy Cooper made clear that doesn't mean it's any less important.

"I'm pleased that we were able to at least have a formal event to celebrate all the hard work that has gone into restoring the bandstand back to its former glory," he said.

"It looks truly magnificent and is now a real focal point for the town and community once more."