PRESS NOTICE
 
The Lancashire Evening Post, Saturday, 11th March 2006
 
THE LAST STAND
 
 
This was the thrilling moment when a 50-year-old bandstand in a Preston park was smashed to pieces. Crash, bang - and bandstand is gone.

IT was the end of an era as a bulldozer brought Avenham Park's bandstand crashing to earth.

The bandstand, built to mark the 1952 Preston Guild celebrations, was demolished to make way for the first phase of a multi-million pound regeneration programme to revamp Avenham and Miller Parks. In place of the crumbling old bandstand, Preston will get a graceful new pavilion housing a cafe, exhibition area and workshop space, park ranger base and toilets.

Bandstand
 
 
The refurbishment will also include a new outdoor performance area, restoration of the park's historic features and improvements to entrances, signs, cycle routes, boundaries, lighting and drainage.

Mayor Bhikhu Patel welcomed around 200 invited guests and sightseers who braved the cold and soggy weather to watch the bandstand meet its maker yesterday. He said: "The demolition of the bandstand is an appropriate symbolic start to the project. "Built in 1952 to celebrate the Preston Guild of that year, it has been inadequate in size and shape for many years now and represents one of the inappropriate modern additions to the parks.

"It's demolition will make way for new infrastructure which will enable us to stage an ambitious programme of major regional outdoor events as well as smaller scale local and community events." Malcolm McVicar, chairman of Preston Vision Board, said: "This project is particularly important as a flagship of the regeneration of Preston and as a symbol of progress towards our vision as third city of the North West." Delighted

Alan Woods, chairman of the Friends of Avenham and Miller Parks, said: "We all live locally and we see or use the parks every day, so what happens here is close to all our hearts. "We have been delighted by the determination shown by the council to restore the parks and by the support given to the project by funders."

 
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© The Lancashire Evening Post, March 2006