Common Sense Over Babylon Gallery

AT last, common sense seems to have prevailed! I was heartened to read in your paper last week that the Tory council under the leadership of Fred Brown are exploring ways with ADEC to reopen the Babylon Gallery but in a more viable form. With 26,000 visi

AT last, common sense seems to have prevailed!

I was heartened to read in your paper last week that the Tory council under the leadership of Fred Brown are exploring ways with ADEC to reopen the Babylon Gallery but in a more viable form.

With 26,000 visitors last year it has been recognised what a valuable asset it is to Ely's economy, especially in these more challenging times.

According to the English Tourist Board, each visitor spends on average £53 on a day out. This will go on food, drink and gifts. As the second most visited attraction after the cathedral, the Babylon Gallery with its changing exhibition must make a real contribution to this.


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However, it is also important to give Ely citizens enough to do if we want to keep them here (hence your Keep It Local campaign.) As a major educational and leisure facility, the Babylon Gallery has a part to play in the life of the city as well.

The Tory council now needs to secure the long-term future of the gallery, either at Babylon Bridge or in part of The Maltings. As the final decision on which catering company is still to be made to run the latter, it should still be possible to negotiate on this, I would have thought.

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'Ely used to be so good' said an acquaintance from Cambridge the other day. She was referring to the fact that Ely was fast loosing its reputation as a centre for the arts. I assured her that we hoped this was only a temporary blip but it is important for councillors to realise just how quickly word spreads and the damage that can be done to retailers and food outlets in the process.

TED CONEY

Waterside

Ely.

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