Babylon Gallery To Close! Ely Cinema Survives!

Back in October we wrote about the slashing of funds to ADeC. One of the theories we discussed was that the council wanted to sell Babylon Bridge House for development. Well, Babylon Gallery is to close at the end of it’s current program. It looks increasingly likely the building will be sold. We’ll have to wait and see whether thats to developers. Here is ECDC’s press release about saving Ely Cinema:

There will be a cinema at the core of the final arts solution for East Cambridgeshire, the two organisations responsible for arts delivery in the District have announced today.

East Cambridgeshire District Council and ADeC (Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire) have been holding a series of meetings to determine the future priorities for the District.

In the latest meeting, both organisations agreed a cinema was key to the future of arts in the District and would be a major priority in the new arts service for East Cambridgeshire.

Councillor Peter Cresswell, Chairman of the Community Services Committee, said: “Our meetings with ADeC have been very constructive over the last couple of months and we have come to agree on many points. We both realised we could do nothing without listening to what the residents of East Cambridgeshire wanted. They have told us loud and clear that they see a cinema as being vital to the arts in the District.

“Working with ADeC, we have searched across the District to find a suitable venue which could provide a high quality cinema experience. Unfortunately we could not find anywhere that could provide a service that would match the experience many enjoy at the Maltings. Sadly this does mean that there will be not be a cinema in East Cambridgeshire for the six months the building is closed. However, I can confirm today that it is our intention to ensure film goers will be able to watch films at the Maltings when it reopens.”

we have made the very difficult decision to close the Babylon Gallery at the end of its current programme.

Jane Wilson, Director at ADeC, said: “Our meetings with East Cambridgeshire District Council have proved to be extremely useful as we put together a business case to deliver the arts in East Cambridgeshire. It has become clear that as well as people valuing the cinema so highly, the public also greatly enjoys the community arts programmes we support and run. In order to continue to provide and fund these services, we have made the very difficult decision to close the Babylon Gallery at the end of its current programme, but we are delighted that we have been able to agree that the cinema at The Maltings will remain a top priority for both organisations when the venue reopens in the Autumn.

“From July we will be using the space at Babylon Bridge to put on a number of performance based arts events until the cinema reopens.”

Councillor Peter Cresswell, said: “It was clearly a difficult decision for ADeC to close the Babylon Gallery. The District Council will be doing all it can to help ADeC find a new venue to achieve our stated aim of providing the arts service which East Cambridgeshire deserves.”

1 reply
  1. Rima Page
    Rima Page says:

    What a pity! It is vital to have a local outlet for the great creativity that exists in East Cambs, particularly away from urban centralised Cambridge. Perhaps some space can be allocated for makers to continue to exhibit, until somewhere else can be found.

    Babylon, and Fore Hill before it, were wonderful assets, signifying the great importance in which East Cambs, and aDec held the art and craft community. It has been supportive and essential for artists who would otherwise not have anywhere regional to exhibit at the outset.

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