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Troubled Highbury Fields Bandstand given free facelift – but still faces funding crisis

PUBLISHED: 07:34 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:23 26 April 2017

Eoin Regan, project manager for Hochtief, is given a 'thank you' card by children at Highbury Fields Bandstand (four-year-old Jessica Barnes and two-year-old Lottie Aldridge) after his team renovated part of the cabin. Picture: Polly Hancock

Eoin Regan, project manager for Hochtief, is given a 'thank you' card by children at Highbury Fields Bandstand (four-year-old Jessica Barnes and two-year-old Lottie Aldridge) after his team renovated part of the cabin. Picture: Polly Hancock

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It’s been a bleak few months for Highbury Fields Bandstand.

Highbury Fields Bandstand was partly renovated for free by Hochtief - but still faces a funding crisis. Picture: Polly HancockHighbury Fields Bandstand was partly renovated for free by Hochtief - but still faces a funding crisis. Picture: Polly Hancock

As reported in the Gazette back in February, the Bandstand, which offers cheap play sessions for kids under five, had some of its funding slashed by Islington Council after government cuts.

Its future remains in doubt – but at least it has been given a huge free facelift in the meantime.

Hochtief, the construction company which is carrying out the ongoing Highbury Corner bridge replacement nearby, said it wanted to help refurbish the shabby cabin while the Bandstand’s management focuses on fundraising.

The flooring has been replaced, walls repainted and brand new decking built.

Param Kingston, Hochtief public liaison officer, said: “We try to engage with the community as part of our work to replace the bridge, and saw in the Gazette that the Bandstand was in a bit of a financial crisis.

“But we also saw that the building needed work. The flooring was not great for walking on and the walls needed a complete re-painting.

“That’s why we were happy to do all the work free. It certainly looks more attractive and hospitable.”

Sam Parrington, who has managed the not-for-profit Bandstand for 15 years, said: “They’ve done an amazing job all for free. Such a great company.”

Of the funding situation, she added: “We are going to struggle getting through this year. Our future looks bleak if we don’t raise some money soon. We are looking at other funding options and have set up a JustGiving page.”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/highbury-bandstand


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