Art is not just for art's sake

PUBLISHED: 10:35 13 December 2007 | UPDATED: 13:07 04 May 2010

THERE has been much comment about the latest piece of art. Here are a few facts. The lack of public art, particularly on the riverside, was identified in a Health Check of Ely a few years back. Of the £127k for the project, the piece and its associated de

THERE has been much comment about the latest piece of art.

Here are a few facts.

The lack of public art, particularly on the riverside, was identified in a Health Check of Ely a few years back.

Of the £127k for the project, the piece and its associated development costs etc. accounted for £85k.

The balance was spent on art related community and educational activities which benefited, among others, considerable numbers of young people.

A number of options were considered and explored over a long period by a representative group of stakeholders in consultation with many organisations before the end product.

The money came from:

n The Arts Council, a national body which allocates money given to it by national government, which unless national government policy changes cannot be spent on anything other than arts related (so Ely may as well have some of it);

n A very small part of the massive planning gain monies given to the district council under section 106 by housing developers, which was similarly allocated to only arts-related projects (the rest goes to education, transport, infrastructure etc.);

n £2,000 from the City of Ely Perspective, the source of which was the now defunct national body, the Countryside Agency, as part its Market Town Initiative project grant to Ely of £250,000.

PHILIP EDEN

Chair, City of Ely Perspective

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