THE blacksmith who built the Southsea Bandstand has said it would be a mistake to move it to the rose garden.
Proposals for regenerating the seafront put forward by Portsmouth City Council included replacing the iron structure with a modern stage.
The man behind the bandstand, Peter Clutterbuck, said he fully supports building a larger venue in the seafront’s natural amphitheatre.
But he added that the suggestion to move the Edwardian-style stage to the rose garden, off Clarence Esplanade, did not make sense to him. ‘It is a great idea to look at what else can be done,’ he said.
‘The amphitheatre is an amazing space and the bandstand was only a means of putting on concerts. The idea was to use an Edwardian style to fit in with the seafront.
‘But it is too small for large bands and something modern could certainly work there.
‘You are looking down on it there, but it would look completely incongruous in the rose garden.
‘It was designed for space, so it would look awful in that location.’
But committee member for the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum Leon Reis said he thought it was a great idea.
He said: ‘Moving it to the rose garden would solve the problem extremely well in my view. We would have a large events space and a new attractive location for the bandstand.’
Portsmouth-designer and blacksmith Mr Clutterbuck created the bandstand, which cost around £30,000, in 1996.
Southsea ward councillor Hugh Mason said the council is open to other options about where the bandstand could be moved to.
He said: ‘My view is that it’s is probably too small for the types of events we would like to have on the seafront, but it is an iconic structure and it would be a shame to lose it.
‘What we need is somewhere we could have small groups of people playing and the rose garden is one of those.
‘But I’m quite neutral on the issue and we would like to hear people’s opinions.’
Visit portsmouth.gov.uk or write to Planning Services, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AU, to have your say.