Spring 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Dorking Bandstand

A lot has happened since we last wrote to you about the project to build a community bandstand in Meadowbank; this Newsletter gives details about what has happened; what is likely to happen over the summer and how you might like to be involved.

As you know, we finally received planning permission for the Bandstand in September last year. The discussions leading up to this decision resulted in a number of conditions being imposed to take account of the concerns of residents and to balance those concerns with sensible use of a community asset. These are laid out in detail in the conditions to which the planning permission is subject. In summary they are as follows:

-   Sunday afternoon “traditional” Bandstand concerts to be largely acoustic and normally to be held between 13.00 and 18.00;

-   the use of the Bandstand for small groups (community or commercial) during the week to be limited to between 09.00 – 18.00 and with audiences expected to be limited to around 50 people;

-   large scale commercial stagings limited to no more than 8 events a year and with no more than 6 in the summer months.

In addition to these restrictions, a Bandstand management committee will be set up to oversee the operations and to manage the bookings. Large scale events will have to have their own comprehensive event management plan, agreed by MVDC. As well as that, there will be a complaints management procedure put in place to enable concerns to be properly considered.

Since we received the planning permission we have been in discussion with MVDC – as land owners and proposed future owners and operators of the Bandstand – about the viability of the project and in particular, to re-assure MVDC that no public money will be needed to operate and maintain the venue in the immediate future.

We are pleased to report that at its meeting on the 7th February this year, the cabinet committee of MVDC agreed with the proposals meaning we can start building when funds are available.

We are also very pleased to let you know that, subject to conditions, we have been granted our first pot of money to fund the project.

What next?

First, subject to the normal permitting process, we hope to make a start on building the plinth for the Bandstand this summer. We have engaged an engineering design consultancy to produce the necessary detailed design drawings so we can go out and seek tenders from contractors.

We are evaluating three separate designs and Quotations for the fabrication and installation of the Bandstand itself. These are all “traditional” bandstand designs, and will strongly reflect the appearance of the old Town Bandstand on South Street, that was demolished in 1962.

We are also looking hard at how to best to celebrate the fantastic work of the NHS, volunteers and key workers and remember those who suffered and died during the Covid-19 Pandemic – one of the three main aims of the Pandemic Community Bandstand project.

Now that the project seems certain to go ahead, we are urgently looking for people to help us take the work forward. If you think you could help us with any aspect of the project, from fund raising, or helping define and implement appropriate Pandemic commemoration, to advising on the construction process, we would love to hear from you.

Crucially, we need help now in developing our social media presence and in devising our funding campaigns. If you could help, please do make contact via our website. Our fund raising efforts to cover the capital build costs will depend on Grant Funding, Crowd Funding and private or corporate Benefactors, and all three will be necessary for us to achieve our goals

Looking ahead to operations, we will also need people to be part of the Bandstand Management Committee; again we would love to hear from you if you could help in this practical aspect of running the future Dorking Bandstand.

The Trustees,

Pandemic Community Bandstand CIO

March 2023