Students and 'friends' invite Coventry public to help build a bandstand
Tuesday 24 November 2015
Coventry University students have joined forces with a local voluntary group to kick start a campaign for a bandstand to be built in the city’s War Memorial Park - and now members of the public are being urged to get involved in the initiative.
The Friends of the War Memorial Park – a group of enthusiastic residents who work tirelessly to improve the park and promote its value to the local community – recently turned to the university to help them with their plan to get a permanent bandstand erected.
Together they hit upon the idea of holding a competition in which the university’s architecture and design students would come up with plans for the proposed bandstand.
The competition kicked off back in September with 21 student teams participating. The initial phase in which the teams had to come up with their concepts lasted until late October when a judging panel made up of representatives from the Friends and expert lecturers from the university convened to whittle the entrants down to a shortlist of six.
These shortlisted designs are now available to view online at www.buildthebandstand.co.uk where visitors can choose their favourite and find out more about the project. There will also be opportunities to get a closer look at the drawings and models produced by the students at a series of roving exhibitions taking place in the city throughout January 2016.
The bandstand designs will be on display at the War Memorial Park visitor centre from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th January; the Central Library from Monday 11th to Sunday 17th January; and West Orchards shopping centre from Monday 18th to Sunday 24th January.
There has been a great response to the campaign so far with over 6,000 votes already cast and the build the bandstand website will remain live until 31 January 2016. Thereafter the plan is that the most popular design as chosen by the people of Coventry will form the basis of a fundraising campaign that the Friends will take forward to get the bandstand built.
Gill Mills from the Friends of the War Memorial Park, said:
Bandstands are common features in parks across the country but there’s no such structure in the War Memorial Park - even though music performances often take place there - so we think a new bandstand would a great addition.
The bandstand is for the people of Coventry to enjoy so we think they should have an opportunity to express their views. The designs that the students have come up with really are fantastic - they’ve put a lot of thought and creativity into this - so I’d urge people to get involved in our campaign by going online and choosing their favourite.
We can’t guarantee that the winning design will eventually be built in the park but we’ll certainly be championing the public choice as we move forward into the fundraising stage of the campaign.
Seid Porobic, course director in interior design at Coventry University coordinated the competition. He said:
We’re delighted to be working with the Friends of the War Memorial Park on their bandstand campaign. Our students have risen to the challenge and it’s been a great project for them to work on from a creative point of view. It’s also given them the opportunity to contribute positively to the local community and I know they’ve found that very rewarding as well.
For further information, please contact Mark Farnan, press officer, Coventry University on 024 7765 8245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of the War Memorial Park
The Friends of the War Memorial Park group, Coventry, was established in 2006. The group was formed to help promote, develop and maintain the War Memorial Park, in order to enhance its value to the community.
The Friends have successfully campaigned for funds to refurbish various areas of the War Memorial Park and alongside the current bandstand project the Friends are also campaigning for the installation of a “green gym”, which will provide outdoor exercise stations around the park for all ages and abilities to use.
The Friends are always looking for more members to help them protect and shape the future of the War Memorial Park, so it can be enjoyed by all. Their general meetings are held monthly in the Visitor Centre during the summer, and every two months during the winter.
Further information about the Friends is available on Coventry City Council’s website.