‘Spaceship’ still on course to replace bandstand

On display: The panel of images recently erected at the Broadway bandstand

On display: The panel of images recently erected at the Broadway bandstand

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It would seem that time is rapidly running out for Ballymena town centre’s much loved traditional bandstand at Broadway.

A huge sign depicting how the town is meant to look in the aftermath of the ongoing ‘public realm’ works has been erected on site.

Top panel: The new design for the bandstand space now on display at Broadway.

Top panel: The new design for the bandstand space now on display at Broadway.

And the top panel contains the artist’s impression of how the bandstand is to be radically - and controversially - transformed.

When the Ballymena Times first published the design, the image created a storm of criticism with the link on our facebook page attracting dozens of comments - very few of them favourable.

“It’s like a Klingon Starship from Star Trek,” said one angry reader.

And, from the angle shown, the new design does bear a certain resemblance to a spaceship from the legendary TV series. The overwhelming response from local people was negative towards the transformation with one leading businessman going so far as to write a letter to the Ballymena Times appealing for the plan - first drawn up under the auspices of the former Ballymena Borough Council - to be rejected.

Mr. Matthew McKillen said he had been ‘appalled’ when he first came across the new modernist design.

However, despite the wave of criticism, it would seem that the ‘spacecraft’ design is still the preferred option under the terms of the public realm scheme.

Major town centre works on the scheme have been suspended until after the busy Christmas and New Year shopping period is over.