Glad The Maltings Is To Re-open But Sorry We Can't Wait

PUBLISHED: 18:48 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 04 May 2010

I WAS very pleased to read in the Ely Standard that The Maltings is finally to reopen. However, as was pointed out in your article, this will be four months behind schedule. Until recently, we in the Ely & District Model Railway Club used to hold our annu

I WAS very pleased to read in the Ely Standard that The Maltings is finally to reopen. However, as was pointed out in your article, this will be four months behind schedule. Until recently, we in the Ely & District Model Railway Club used to hold our annual exhibition at The Maltings every May, typically drawing 1,000 to 1,200 people on the day. Last year, with the closure of The Maltings we arranged to move our show to a different venue, The City of Ely Community College. It was a very successful and much larger show with loads of available free parking for visitors etc - something that was always a problem for us with The Maltings. We really could not afford to hang around for yet another year to "wait and see" who would run The Maltings so we will remain at the show on Saturday, May 9, 2009, especially since our shows take one to two years' advanced planning and organisation.

So The Maltings will finally re-open. Great news, but our fear is that small clubs and societies such as ours will not be able to afford the hire of this venue any more. I'd like to ask what guarantees have the council put in place to ensure that Compass hire it out to local clubs and societies (such as ours) that cannot afford full "commercial rates"? Otherwise I fear that this great building's main hall will remain mostly idle once more.

DR ANDY WILKINSON

Chairman of Ely and District Model Railway Club

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