Fresh hope for town's art gallery

By Lisa CleverdonTHE fate of an art gallery looks brighter today after it was thrown a lifeline by the council that only weeks ago scuppered its ambitious plan for the future.

By Lisa Cleverdon

THE fate of an art gallery looks brighter today after it was thrown a lifeline by the council that only weeks ago scuppered its ambitious plan for the future.

Members of the Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery Trust were dealt a devastating blow when they were told St Edmundsbury Borough Council would not help fund a move to the town's Corn Exchange.

But despite councillors inviting the gallery to remain at its present home in Market Cross, the trust has now been told there is a chance it could also use some of the space available at the town's new public building once it is built on the Cattle Market site.


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The council has also made a promise to work to improve disabled facilities at the gallery building by paying for a lift.

Sheila Wormleighton, leader of the council's Labour group, said: “It could be a possibility for the gallery to stage exhibitions at the new public building, which we hope will be very versatile and will be used for all manner of different things.

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“The scheme that the gallery put forward for the Corn Exchange was excellent, but it was very ambitious.

“We hope that by installing the lift the gallery will be able to continue where it is, but we would also like to see the trust build itself up to a more extensive programme of work within the community with events such as exhibitions and workshops.”

The gallery was turned down for a £2.5million cash injection from the council that was needed to help fund its move from Market Cross to the town's Corn Exchange building.

The ambitious expansion plan meant the exchange would have been transformed into a striking new visual arts centre for the town.

Gallery director, Barbara Taylor, expressed concern when the council rejected the plan and said the trust would have to look closely at the future of the gallery if the funding problems could not be resolved.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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