A CAMPAIGN of vandalism at a town centre park has prompted a council to fence off a landmark as an application for refurbishment to the area is underway,
The bandstand at the Memorial Gardens, Ashbourne, has been repeated hit by vandals in recent weeks, with damage to the structure on the increase.
Derbyshire Dales District Council have now fenced off the bandstand in a bid to prevent further damage.
The vandalism has come at a time when the council, working with Ashbourne Partnership, Ashbourne Town Council, Ashbourne Heritage Society and the Ashbourne branch of the Royal British Legion, has applied to the Parks for People Lottery Fund under the Friends of Ashbourne Park scheme.
The Friends of Ashbourne Park are asking for £700,000 to help redevelop the area, including the bandstand.
Councillor Steve Bull, chairman of the district council’s environment committee, said: “Vandalism is unacceptable wherever it occurs, but it is particularly disappointing when a Memorial Garden is targeted.
“However, the district council has acted quickly and responsibility to fence off the bandstand while we consider repair options.
“In the long term the district council is clear that we want to bring Ashbourne Park to life and the bandstand is a landmark in the Memorial Gardens forming a major piece of work in the plans we have drawn up in partnership with local organisations.
“It is only through the hard work of the Town and District Councils, British Legion and Ashbourne Partnership that we have progressed this far, and while this vandalism is disappointing, the plan will help in the long term to reduce the likelihood of this kind of senseless damage.”
The Ashbourne Park scheme will also include a new Walk of History, restoration of Lady Cokayne’s Walk and a new shelter.