Bandstand strikes right note for listed status

Calderdale Council

The historic bandstand in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, is now Grade II listed.

This comes after a successful application from the local community to Historic England to list the building to help protect its future.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has added the bandstand to the national List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

According to Historic England, the listing was made because the bandstand is:

  • The only surviving example of a pre-First World War theatre-type bandstand in England. Fewer than 15 structures of this style are known to have been built across the country.
  • A good example of a bandstand designed for enhanced acoustics, with a tiered stage and soundboards behind and above the players, and retaining the majority of its functional features.
  • Enhanced beyond the functional with considerable decorative flair and ornamentation, mostly faithfully reproduced in 1999 and largely surviving.

Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, said:

“The listing enables the local community to step up its work to secure grant funding for restoration, to bring the bandstand back to its former glory.”

The future of the bandstand has been up for discussion for a number of years due to its deteriorating condition. Calderdale Council has continued to work with the community to secure its future, seeking fundraising support for the required repairs.

In July 2019, as no community organisations had formally expressed an interest to take on responsibility for the bandstand, the Council had no option but to pursue demolition and the creation of a new performance space on the site.

Now the bandstand’s listed status has opened up new opportunities for the local community to apply for external funding to make the structure safe and give it a new lease of life.

The original bandstand was officially opened on Friday 26 June 1914 by the Mayor, Alderman Robert Jackson, JP. It is highly decorative, with its distinctive balustrade, consoles, prominent flowing cornice, window surrounds and metal grilles to the sides of the building.

Despite significant fire damage in 1999, great care was taken to faithfully conserve the bandstand based on its original design. Most if not all of the timber was replaced and the cast-iron columns, steel frame, concrete base and stone-faced brick plinth were retained.

The List entry for the bandstand, together with a map, has now been published on the National Heritage List for England. This List can be accessed through the Historic England website(external link).

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