ADeC Not Been Shortlisted To Run The Maltings When It Reopens

ELY S arts development agency (ADeC) has learned that it has not been shortlisted to run The Maltings when the facility reopens in the autumn. Seven companies, from the initial 12 who expressed an interest, have been shortlisted to take over the arts and

ELY'S arts development agency (ADeC) has learned that it has not been shortlisted to run The Maltings when the facility reopens in the autumn.

Seven companies, from the initial 12 who expressed an interest, have been shortlisted to take over the arts and conferencing centre and they now have 50 days to submit a full tender before a final decision is made.

Jane Wilson, director of ADeC told the Ely Standard: "I am disappointed that ADeC was not shortlisted for the next stage of bidding, however, our goal now is to work with those companies that were shortlisted to ensure that a strong and successful programme of arts and entertainment, including Ely Cinema, is an integral part of their vision for The Maltings."

An outside consultant was called in to look at the bids; areas such as the ability to invest in the building and whether they would be capable of running a prestigious community venue were considered.


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The consultant recommended the seven shortlisted companies, which were unanimously agreed by all parties at the district council's Policy and Resources Committee.

The short listed companies are: Crown Group (UK) Ltd, Duchy Catering, Sedoxo Prestige, Digby Trout Restaurants (Elior), Alfresco, Yes Dining and Leiths (Compass).

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Councillor Fred Brown, chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: "It is important that we get the best possible company or organisation to run The Maltings. They must be able to provide the investment into the building which it sorely needs to make it something fit for the 21st Century. This is why we employed an external expert to go through the expressions of interest for the council to ensure we got a completely independent assessment of the bids. Whoever wins the contract will have to meet a number of strict criteria to deliver high quality services, promote a cinema as well as provide excellent catering facilities whether the customer fancies a snack or needs a wedding catered for. The Maltings is a key building on the Ely riverside and we are excited at the prospect of it reopening later this year.

"The contract to run the catering at The Maltings was very competitive with a number of world class catering companies submitting bids to run the building. Unfortunately ADeC did not have a catering partner to support their bid and given the high standard of interest which was assessed by the independent consultant, members from all political parties agreed not to take their bid further.

"The council now plans to work closely with ADeC to ensure it has a permanent home in the future; in order to coordinate its excellent arts provision for the district. We hope this can be at Babylon Bridge and we are actively looking at options to make this happen."

The Maltings, built in 1868 for the brewery of Ebenezer William Harlock, is a grade II listed building is currently closed for repairs. The work involves reinstating an original pattern on the four slopes of the tower roof using a combination of traditional details.

Arts campaigner Ted Coney told the Ely Standard he was disappointed that ADeC was not considered to run the building, but also confident that ADeC would be permanent feature in Ely in the future.

"I am disappointed that ADeC will not be given the chance to run The Maltings, but confident that going forward the visual arts will be given a place in Ely.

I think people now do realise how important the Babylon Gallery is and how it has helped to put Ely on the map, not only in terms of the arts but also tourism. I also think that many more people realise that ADeC can't just be pushed away.

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