SOUTHEND’S much-loved bandstand could stay in Priory Park where it has proved to be a popular attraction.

Southend Council moved the bandstand from its original site beneath Prittlewell Square, in Clifftown Parade because of unstable cliffs there.
Following a facelift it was resited in Priory Park in 2008 where it has proved popular with a number of musical events being held there each year.

The council originally intended to move the bandstand back to Clifftown Parade when work to stabilise the cliffs and preliminary work on a new clifftop museum got underway. However, a new supporting wall is now shoring up the cliffs but the council says it has no immediate plans to move it the bandstand back.

Nick Harris, Southend Council’s Head of Culture, said: “No decision has yet been taken about the eventual destination of Southend Bandstand.
“Until any future plans are proposed, for the time being it will remain in Priory Park, where it has proved to be a hugely popular attraction.”

The council is currently in the process of finalising the bandstand programme for 2013.
Independent councillor Martin Terry, said the council should consider bringing the bandstand back to its original home.

He said: “It is a great part of the town for the bandstand. It’s the right environment in a beautiful location on the clifftops and its it central for visitors.

“We have a lot of daytrippers who would like to see that type of entertainment provision. It is a conservation areas so it is right for it. The idea was moving it to Priory Park would be temporary.

"It was always intended it should go back. It fits in there like a hand in a glove. It is the perfect place and we need things like this to regenerate the town centre.”
Derek Jarvis, councillor responsible for culture said discussions over the bandstand’s future had not yet begun.

He said: “It’s been extremely popular in Priory Park. A carol concert at Christmas attracted more than 300 people. Some people who clamoured to get it back might have different views now.

“However, we haven’t even reached the point of a discussion about it. The current plans for the museum don’t include a bandstand but that is not to say that there might not be an application in the future.”