Please Take Another Look At Babylon Gallery With Fresh Eyes
A LOT has changed since the ill fated (in my opinion) decision to withdraw funding from the Babylon Gallery and thus bring about its closure. Even though the Masterplan looks like stalling, it had already highlighted the need for more leisure facilities i
A LOT has changed since the ill fated (in my opinion) decision to withdraw funding from the Babylon Gallery and thus bring about its closure.
Even though the Masterplan looks like stalling, it had already highlighted the need for more leisure facilities in Ely in the coming years, not less.
The credit crunch is beginning to bite and we know the 'leisure' commercial businesses are going to be hardest hit.
Having the Babylon Gallery and The Maltings closed this summer is also going to make Ely a less attractive place to visit. Although, I appreciate, the work on The Maltings must continue, now it has started, and I hope it will not be closed a day longer than necessary (unlike the eyesore in the centre of the city, which seems to be making a laughing stock of the council).
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I would ask the council to look again at the Babylon Gallery with fresh eyes and in a non-political way and see what can be done. Explore the idea that Babylon Gallery can be reborn in a different way, in the light of the changing situation in Ely.
In these challenging times it is even more important that the Council is seen to be putting a positive message across, if Ely is to continue to be a prosperous and lively city and closing one of the major tourist attractions down hardly helps this (26,000 visitors last year).
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Perhaps a consultation in a more widely open forum (rather than in the council chamber which has the effect of making visitors feel that their opinions are worthless) with council's own arts and tourist officers as well as artists, teachers and business people who might have ideas for how a place for the visual arts could be maintained.
For many people, the Babylon Gallery is an important asset and needs to be cherished for future generations.