Fight is on to halt demolition of Todmorden bandstand

Centre Vale Park, Todmorden bandstand.
Centre Vale Park, Todmorden bandstand.

Campaigners hoping to prevent a park bandstand from being demolished have organised a public meeting to discuss possible ways forward.

A week ago, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet agreed to demolish the iconic structure, in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, which has been subject to vandalism, replacing it with a new performance space.

But councillors, who had heard townspeople and parish councillors arguing it should be restore to its former specification, heard that was some “wriggle room”, particularly if Todmorden Town Council, which is not financially restricted in the way Calderdale Council is.

The public meeting will be on Wednesday, August 7, at 7pm at the Jack’s House pub, Burnley Road, Todmorden, for which flyers have also been produced.

Calderdale rebuilt the bandstand to its original 1914 specification, cast iron and steel framed but with wooden infrastructure, after it burned down 20 years ago but has since suffered vandalism and further attempts to set fire to it.

For most of the past decade it has been out of use and fenced off for safety reasons with attempts to damage the fencing.

Cabinet were presented with costings of £40,000 to make it safe and install new and robust security fencing, £50,000 to demolish it and replace it with a new performance space or £300,000 to rebuild it again to the original specification.

Cabinet agreed the demolition and performance space rebuild option, but Leader of the Council, Coun Tim Swift said planning permission for that would have to be obtained and while that was ongoing if the town council wanted to take it up it could be considered.