THE BANDSTAND in the middle of Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens is to be removed.
But it will be returning, looking better than ever, as part of a £1million transformation of the historic gardens which people will get a chance to have their say on this month.
The current bandstand, which has stood at the centre of the gardens since 1896, will be dismantled and taken away for restoration before returning in all its former glory. The undercroft of the bandstand will also be restored to allow for the storage of chairs and equipment for bands.
The project will also see the tarmac paths ripped up and replaced with a surface more in keeping with the Grade II-listed gardens, and likewise the crumbling wall facing the Parade will also be rebuilt.
People can also expect to see new plants and trees – a number of which will be removed after a survey found them to be in a bad way – and a makeover along the riverside.
There are plans to create a sensory garden at the cinema end of the gardens, and with a nod to the 21st century there the revamp will include a wi-fi hotspot.
The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens are working in partnership with Warwick District Council to restore the park. The lion’s share of the cost will be met by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
Archie Pitts, Chair of Friends of the Pump Room Gardens, said; “These are exciting proposals that will hugely improve the appearance of the Pump Room Gardens and create a valuable amenity in the heart of Leamington.”
People will have the chance to comment on the proposals when plans and illustrations go on display at North Lodge, bat the entrance to Jephson Gardens, on Saturday April 11, and at the the Tourist Information Centre in the Pump Rooms on Friday April 17 and Saturday April 25, from 11am to 3pm on all days.
Dave Anderson, Green Space Team Leader of Warwick District Council, said: “As we finalise the plans for the Pump Room Gardens we would welcome local residents and visitors to look at the proposals and let us know what they think.”
Work is set to start next year and will be carried out in phases over 12 months, allowing regular events such as the Peace Festival and Food Festival to go head in the gardens as normal.
The gardens were originally only for the use of patrons of the neighbouring Royal Pump Rooms “to afford them pleasant promenades” but were opened to the public in 1875.
In 2012 the 19th century Lindon arches were restored to their former glory as part of a £110,000 project.
Visit www.pumproomgardens.org.uk for further details. (s)
* Mr Pitts will talk about the plans to restore the gardens at the Friday Focus lunchtime talk at Leamington Art Gallery & Museum on Friday April 17, starting at 1pm. Admission is free.
People can have their say on the proposals this month. (s)
The bandstand will be restored to its former glory. Photo by Elliott Brown.
The historic gardens are set for a £1million transformation. Photo by
Robin Stott (geograph.org.uk)
Enjoying a concert in the Pump Room Gardens yesteryear style. (s)