What do Wet Wet Wet, Deacon Blue, Punch and Judy and innumerable Boys Brigade brass bands have in common? They have all performed at the bandstand in Kelvingrove Park. The Herald archive pictures show thousands basking in sunshine during 1980s Radio Clyde roadshows and more recently Woodlands Fun Days but when the last audience departed in 1999, the vandals moved in.

Now there is a (pounds) 500,000 plan to restore the bandstand but can it be made to pay its way? The Kelvingrove bandstand is a metaphor for the vicious circle of political indifference, neglect, falling use, cutbacks and destructiveness that has afflicted Glasgow parks. Its fate will be a test of the city's capacity for reinventing itself.

Built in 1924 at a cost of (pounds) 3500, it was once a popular venue for military band concerts, old-time music hall and competitions. More recently, Glasgow's first Steel Band Festival, rock concerts and the city's Mela Festival came there.

But the Glasgow park bandstands have fallen out of use and been demolished. The Queen's Park bandstand was razed by fire nine years ago. Others in the Botanic Gardens and Glasgow Green were gone long before.

Now, Kelvingrove, the only theatre-style freestanding bandstand left in Scotland, could be set for a rebirth. Its chances of survival were enhanced in 2000 by the award of Category B architectural listing and Glasgow District Council have offered to lease it to the Friends of Kelvingrove Park.

Their feasibility study envisages a new life for the bandstand after a full restoration costing (pounds) 500,000.

Ed Gillett, secretary of the Friends of Kelvingrove Park, said: ''We have an indicative offer from Historic Scotland. We're confident of getting a grant from the Heritage Lottery under their public parks initiative.''

The balance would be expected to come from Glasgow City Council and other sources.

Councillor Aileen Colleran, convener of Glasgow's parks and facilities committee, said: ''The council is in the process of handing over the Kelvingrove bandstand to a community-based trust. We hope that they'll come forward with plans that are sustainable.''