SWANAGE'S Victorian bandstand could be back in the town as early as March next year, following hundreds of individual pledges of funds.

The Friends Of Swanage Bandstand (FOSB) charity has already banked £57,000, and Swanage Town Council (STC) has previously committed to providing £50,000 towards the project.

Town council clerk Martin Ayres explained: "The Swanage Bandstand project is making great progress and it is anticipated that the town council will go out for tenders in the next few weeks.

"Once the tenders are received the project team will understand the whole cost of the restoration of the Swanage Bandstand.

"When the tenders and additional funding is received the group will have a better idea when the restoration of the bandstand will be completed.

"All parties are currently working towards a completion date in Spring 2019.

FOSB founder Alan Houghton says the charity's £57,000 has been raised by pledges, donations, various charity concerts and through the sale of donated items.

The friends even have Terry Wogan's blazer on show at Eureka, High Street, Swanage, which is open for bids.

Early in 2017 STC announced the bandstand may have to be filled in by the end of that August, if no proposals for the site were forthcoming.

The roof of the bandstand was declared structurally unsound during refurbishment works in 2012, which had been taking pace to address series storm damage it had previously sustained.

News the bandstand was facing its final curtain caused public outcry locally, and after more than 200 people attended a crisis meeting, FOSB was established by Alan.

Alan said: "We now believe that working with the council as we have, we should be, subject to funds have our bandstand back approx March 2019, but we need one big push for funds to get us there, so anyone with a little surplus cash to help us would be much appreciated."