I Don't Hold Out Much Hope For The Future Of Ely

PUBLISHED: 11:24 29 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010

IT is difficult to take any interest in the Masterplan until we know what the Tory councillors are going to do with the Babylon Gallery and The Maltings. If they spoil these amenities then I don t hold out much hope for Ely in the future! I note that in a

IT is difficult to take any interest in the Masterplan until we know what the Tory councillors are going to do with the Babylon Gallery and The Maltings. If they spoil these amenities then I don't hold out much hope for Ely in the future!

I note that in a recent survey, carried out by the Liberal Democrats on people's first response to the Masterplan, 70 per cent of those questioned said they wanted to see an art gallery retained on the riverside.

That information and the fact that 26,000 people have visited the Babylon Gallery this year more or less wraps up the case for keeping this tourist attraction, I would have thought.

The Tories say they have to close it to save money, though with that amount of visitors, it is obvious that the gallery must be bringing a lot of wealth to the city.

However, if Babylon has to make money, why not rent out the top part of the building as artists' studios, now it is being vacated by council office staff? The building would be relatively cheap to convert and would bring instant rent into the coffers.

Having artists working on site would enable them to open their studios from time to time to visitors, adding another attraction to riverside.

The Tory council say they are listening to what people want. They have already got the message loud and clear about Ely Cinema, so let us hope they are taking note about retaining these other important facilities.

TED CONEY

Waterside

Ely

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