East Park's restored bandstand has been officially unveiled to the public - at the same time as the park was officially saved for future generations by a legal covenant.

The bandstand was completely renovated as part of the ongoing £1.5 million restoration of East Park which is returning the Victorian park back to its former glory.

The bandstand's weather ravaged metalwork was repaired and replica parts were fashioned to replace the missing framework.

The new look bandstand was officially opened on Saturday (20 July, 2013) as part of a celebration event to mark the awarding of a deed of dedication to East Park.

The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, operated by Fields in Trust, sought to protect and safeguard recreational areas through legal means, ensuring they remain in recreational use forever.

East Park was one of 6 parks and recreation grounds in Wolverhampton to receive the deed of dedication. Former councillor Pat Byrne unveiled a plaque marking Fields In Trust status which also included a tribute to former chair of East Park User Group Frances Pugh, who worked tirelessly to improve East Park and who sadly died earlier this year.

Saturday's event included music from local band Xpression - featuring Paul Dodich and David Corns from the city council and fellow group member Bob Cash - and singer Paul Bennett, who also works for the authority, while on Sunday Rugeley Power Station Brass Band took centre stage to perform in the bandstand.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "I am delighted that East Park has been legally protected for future generations to enjoy - and that we were able to mark the occasion by unveiling its restored bandstand.

"We had a great turnout at Saturday's celebrations and I'd like to thank everyone, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the East Park User Group, East Park Local Neighbourhood Partnership and everyone else who has been involved in both the restoration work and the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge for making it happen.

"It was particularly delightful to watch a band playing on the bandstand for the first time in 30 years."

The final phase of East Park's restoration work - which includes repairs to the park's lake terrace and lake bed, the historic clock tower, boathouses and the main entrances to the park - is well underway and due to be completed next year.

The restoration work comes on top of a number of other improvements at East Park in recent years, including the installation of a fitness trail, a natural play area and a multi-use games area, extensive horticultural work and the refurbishment of the interior of the pavilion.

Councillor Mattu added: "East Park is a hugely popular place and the work we are doing to restore it to its former glory will ensure that it remains so for years to come."

  • released: Tuesday 23 July, 2013