Questions raised over Island Gardens £70,000 ‘bandstand’

Island Gardens band stand. Pic: Foladele Falana and Anna Scepetilnikova

Island Gardens bandstand. Pic: Foladele Falana and Anna Scepetilnikova

Residents around Island Gardens in Tower Hamlets have complained about the “bandstand” erected in the park that cost the council £70,000.

To commemorate the 120th anniversary of the park, locals had planned to install a structure where a 29-piece brass band could play. However, they were in for a shock when the borough administration said the park already had one.

Sixteen years ago the council was allocated £70,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a bandstand to be built in Island Gardens. In lieu of a bandstand, the park was adorned with a roofless metal arch construction. The bandstand was erected under the previous Labour administration.

Eric Pemberton, chairman of Friends of Island Gardens, told that the council’s service head for culture, learning and leisure had told him that the unknown structure was built to serve its original purpose of hosting music bands.

He said: “When I mentioned to her a bandstand has a roof on it for acoustics, she said they would cover the top. When I asked how I could get a brass band in it with chairs and music stands I get no reply.”

“It’s not a bandstand and we want to know where the money is.”

Local residents have also expressed their concerns about the construction. Only one out of 10 people ELL interviewed in the park could identify the structure as a bandstand.

Amongst the general public, questions have been raised about the usage of £70,000 allocated by the Heritage Lottery Fund and whether the money was invested into the right matter.


Video by Foladele Falana, Hana Stuchlikova and Anna Scepetilnikova.

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