Gallery victim f cuts

ELY S Babyln Gallery has becme a casualty f the spending cuts t the arts in East Cambridgeshire and will clse. The decisin was taken this week as arts develpment rganisatin ADeC tightens its belt t cpe with a £70,000 cut in district cuncil fun

ELY'S Babyln Gallery has becme a casualty f the spending cuts t the arts in East Cambridgeshire and will clse.

The decisin was taken this week as arts develpment rganisatin ADeC tightens its belt t cpe with a £70,000 cut in district cuncil funding.

Despite 25,000 visitrs per year, the gallery n the grund flr at Babyln Bridge has been declared n lnger viable.

The clsure annuncement cmes as district cuncil wrkers based in first flr ffices at Babyln Bridge prepare t mve back t headquarters at The Grange this summer.


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This leaves the way clear fr the district cuncil t sell n the lease which it hlds n the rented building until 2010.

ADeC directr, Jane Wilsn said: "The gallery did nt feature in the cuncil's pririties fr the arts. They were lking at their research n which they made the decisin t cut ur budget by £70,000. It will nt be resurrected in the near future.

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"This has been a very difficult decisin fr the trustees and all the staff wh are very prud f the wrk that has taken place in the gallery.

"Our pririty is t get the rganisatin n an even keel and mve frward.

"Unfrtunately, the gallery in its current situatin culdn't generate an incme.

"We were nt able t cmpete with cmmercial galleries in the city. As we were publicly funded, we needed t have a different rle."

Frm July, ADeC plans t use the space at Babyln Bridge fr a number f perfrmance-based arts event until The Maltings cinema re-pens in the autumn fllwing its six-mnth clsure fr rf repairs.

Cllr Peter Cresswell, chairman f East Cambridgeshire District Cuncil's cmmunity services cmmittee, denied that the decisin was frced upn ADec t allw the cuncil t give up the building.

He said: "We dn't tell the ADeC bard what t d. Our pririties are the cntinuatin f the cinema and making sure grants are available fr lcal rganisatins. The decisin n the gallery was nt in islatin a financial issue.

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