Grade II-listed Roker Park bandstand set for restoration as Sunderland Council submits plans

The bandstand in Roker Park, Sunderland
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)


Plans have been officially submitted to city development chiefs for the repair and restoration of the Grade II-listed bandstand at Roker Park.

Sunderland City Council is seeking planning permission to refurbish the 144 year old structure, which has been closed for years and was once the stunning Victorian centrepiece of the coastal park. However, it has since fallen into a state of disrepair and was fenced off in summer 2021, with warning signs put in place.

In a council meeting held in March 2022, it was stated that work on the bandstand was due to be completed within 12 months. However, the project has since been delayed due to other park developments.

The local authority explained that the delays were due to works on a new cafe in the park, now in operation, as well as other works to restore the park's water features including a boating lake.

These regeneration works are part of a wider project to improve facilities at Roker Park. A planning application was approved in early 2023 for amphitheatre seating near the bandstand, with the aim of making it the "beating heart of the park once again".

At the time of writing, the bandstand remains closed to the public and is surrounded by security fencing.

Recently, Sunderland City Council submitted an application to its own planning department proposing "repairs and restoration works" to the bandstand.

Documents supporting the planning proposal given to council officials highlight that parts of the structure are battling corrosion, staining, as well as "signs of rot to the timbers around the [roof] perimeter".

The proposed refurbishment includes a host of roof repairs and metalwork fixes, in addition to a complete redecoration of the structure's central dome or 'cupola', with hopes of making the area publicly accessible.

The plan also details "installing new tiles to cover the bandstand's existing concrete floor", which is referred as being "stark and inappropriate" in the heritage statement that was included.

The same heritage statement mentions that the anticipated restoration and repair work will be carried out using best conservation practices and said it would "reinstate the bandstand to its intended use through the application of sensitive restorative design".

The bandstand has been listed under Historic England as originating roughly from 1880, and it's recognised for a number of distinct features that include its "corniced base with panelled patterns", "ornamental railings" and "central cupola raised on pearced iron band with iron cresting".

The decision regarding granting listed building consent for the bandstand will be made at the end of a period of council consultation.

According to Sunderland City Council's planning portal, the final date for the plans to be decided falls on July 23, 2024.

The council's planning portal holds more details about the planning application or you can track its progress by searching reference: 24/01011/LB3.