Tries rejected the gallery

PUBLISHED: 10:53 28 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 03 May 2010

SO nw we knw the truth. The Try district cuncillrs did have the mney t save the Babyln Gallery but chse nt t d s. Last week, the Lib Dem cuncillrs put frward a prpsal t give ADEC £35,000 s they culd cntinue running the gallery but th

SO nw we knw the truth. The Try district cuncillrs did have the mney t save the Babyln Gallery but chse nt t d s.

Last week, the Lib Dem cuncillrs put frward a prpsal t give ADEC £35,000 s they culd cntinue running the gallery but the Tries chse instead t cntinue putting £150,000 int their fund t build a new leisure centre in the distant future.

The ther myth that mst peple can nw see thrugh is that it was nt ADEC wh chse t abandn the Babyln Gallery in preference t their ther bligatins t the arts. The truth is that the peple f Ely tld their elected cuncillrs lud and clear that the Ely Cinema had t be retained. Als, t be seen t be pulling the plug n all the utreach wrk that ADEC des, wuld have been very uncmfrtable fr the Try party.

I feel the visual arts are being unfairly singled ut by the district cuncil. Of all the arts, it needs t have its wn designated space t flurish. Music, dance and drama can all perate in an empty space, but art needs t be displayed prfessinally if it is t be prperly appreciated.

Why is it s imprtant t keep a public gallery pen at Babyln?

Of all the things which ADEC des, this is its mst imprtant cntributin t turism in Ely. As the secnd mst visited attractin after the cathedral, with 25,000 visitrs last year, it is a majr asset t the city.

It prvides the peple f Ely and surrunding district with a cnstantly changing feast f visual art (fr prf f this, g and see the current shw by Jerry Andrews).

Much f its educatin prgramme is centred arund the current exhibitin, s children, students and adults can learn abut cntemprary art.

The gallery has helped Ely becme knwn as a centre fr the arts, and many smaller galleries and shps have grwn arund it.

This summer, with The Maltings clsed as well, there will be less fr visitrs t d n the riverside. The Babyln Gallery fits exactly int the Ely Plan, with its ideas abut expanding leisure facilities fr a grwing ppulatin.

Peple cnsidering cming t live here need t knw this is a vibrant place. Clsing this attractin sends all the wrng srt f messages.

I very much hpe thse peple in Ely, Cambridge and the surrunding twns and villages wh feel the same way, will let their Try cuncillrs knw that they wish t see the Babyln Gallery saved. But d it nw, r it will be t late.

TED CONEY, Waterside, Ely

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