THE Friends of Swanage Bandstand (FOSB) hope the town's popular Victorian structure will be completed by August.

Work on the Swanage Bandstand project started in earnest more than three weeks ago, after many more months of wrangling and fundraising.

Contractors remain on site and work is reportedly progressing well.

However, FOSB founder Alan Houghton says funds are still needed to pay for seating at the attraction.

He said: "I’m hoping the bandstand we be back in August, but sadly the seating may not be ready as the council has not yet made a decision on what they want.

"We at FOSB want continuous seating to get maximum amount of people seated, as the concerts are always so well supported. But that means still raising extra funds for seating if anyone can help us?"

Earlier this year the FOSB group and Swanage Town Council announced the contract for the refurbishment had been awarded.

The bandstand was dismantled by the the architectural firm Lost Art, who sent a team down from Wigan.

Mr Houghton said: "The next stage is total refurbishment of what is left of the original, and then the recasting of the pieces that are missing – which for Lost Art is no problem as they have just done the same bandstand as ours in Leamington Spa, and that now looks fantastic.

"Again we thank everyone who continues to support us as we’ve almost won the battle."

The original Swanage Bandstand, manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow, was made of cast iron and installed in 1923.

The overall costs of the project is likely to top £207,000 by the time it is finished.

In April, thanks to £81,000 raised by FOSB, a £40,000 government coastal revival fund grant, and £50,000 pledged by Swanage Town Council, £171,000 had been raised.

In 2017 the town council announced the sunken bandstand may have to be filled in if no proposals for the site were forthcoming.

The roof of the Victorian structure had been declared unsound during refurbishment works in 2012, which had taken place to address significant storm damage it had suffered previously.

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