Mid Wales

Aberystwyth new bandstand project pulled by council

Artist's impression of the proposed new bandstand Image copyright Ceredigion Council
Image caption The proposed design for the new bandstand raised eyebrows

A £1m project to replace Aberystwyth's bandstand has been pulled by Ceredigion council.

Planners had given the scheme the go-ahead after initially putting it on hold in the wake of storms that ravaged the town's promenade in January.

Now the council said it had abandoned the current proposals because of "significant additional costs".

It added it would now consider other options which could be delivered within budget before March 2015.

The current structure on the prom has been a prominent landmark on the town's seafront since 1935.

More than 2,000 people had signed an online petition opposing its demolition.

'Increasing costs'

Image copyright Hayley Green
Image caption The new bandstand will replace the one which has been in use since 1935

In February, plans to replace the current building with a two-storey bandstand, including a public performance space and a restaurant area, were approved by Ceredigion council's planning committee in February.

The project also included building a new sea wall to protect the development.

Aberystwyth Regeneration Area Board had already backed the scheme and earmarked £918,750 for the new building after providing £130,000 for a structural investigation in February 2013.

The money would have to be spent before the end of the next financial year.

"Following a review of design and increasing costs it was anticipated that the project would incur significant additional costs to the council at a time when contract tenders and prices for capital scheme in Aberystwyth are increasing," said a Ceredigion council official.

'Value for money'

The spokesman said the council was also aware of strong public opinion opposing the proposed design.

"It is our intention to take the proposals back to the drawing board to consider options which could be delivered before March 2015 and within budget," he said.

"If there are feasible alternative options, they will be presented for consideration by the Regeneration Area Partnership Board prior to seeking funding approval from the Welsh government."

County councillor and Aberystwyth town councillor Mark Strong said: "Given that the new estimates of costs were higher than originally forecast, Ceredigion council has a duty to protect value for money for its taxpayers."

The Welsh government named Aberystwyth as a regeneration area in October 2009 and it was awarded £10.3m in March 2010.

Projects which have already benefited from the fund include a circular road linking Aberystwyth University and the National Library of Wales, and a bus service which opened in 2012.

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