The Value Of Nothing


From the Play Exhibition in 2007

I’ve missed the local papers over the last few weeks, which isn’t a wholly disappointing piece of news. However one of the stories I wasn’t aware of until today is the continuing cultural vandalism occurring thanks to the fine work of my local council.  It seems that according to the Eastern Daily Press, (the local paper that’s a deal more tolerable to read than others) :

King’s Lynn’s medieval arts complex could close with art exhibitions instead held in the Town Hall under planned spending cuts in West Norfolk. The proposals are part of a wide-ranging report which could also see the Town House museum axed and the register office moved into the Town Hall. If the report is approved by West Norfolk councillors next month, it could save the council between £80,000 and £100,000.”

From the Hi Sklo Lo Sklo Exhibition in 2008

Now I understand that times are hard but this seems such a retrogressive step in an area of the country that isn’t exactly awash with cultural activity – and where they (the folks at the Art’s Centre that is) have done such great work in building the set up that’s currently in place.

The council have all but closed the Guildhall of St George, (other than for external hire – and despite, rather perversely, continuing with repairs to the roof costing around £200,000), so a decision to do the same with the gallery spaces at the Art’s Centre would be an unsurprising albeit depressing decision.

So if you’re local to me I recommend you a) visit the King’s Lynn Art’s Centre as often as you can whilst it’s still in it’s current state and b) write to your local Councillor expressing your concern around the suggestion of downgrading the provision of support to the arts in West Norfolk, because quite frankly when it’s gone it’s gone.

From the Modest Monuments Contemporary Art From Korea Exhibition in 2009

(Something else you could also do is join the recently set up Community Cinema Club which is continuing (through the private hire process I assume) to show films at the Guildhall – it’s only just started up and they’re showing their first film, Please Give, on Thursday. I’ve no idea how successful the club will be however whatever support you can give would be very much appreciated.)

5 Responses to “The Value Of Nothing”

  1. 1 Cathy

    It’s desperately sad, I am pretty devastated over it. Word from the inside is that it’s only a short term measure until after the recession. I understand cuts need to be made thanks to the mess we’re in, I don’t even mind them closing it down to save money but as long as there is a firm commitment to re-open when the economy improves. That is all I am personally asking for.

    I was chatting to the head of the Guildhall gallery the other week and told her I was prepared to get Stephen Fry on the case if needs be, but at that point she was still waiting for the ‘official word’ on the future. As it has links to Royalty too through Lady Fermoy, I will be writing to Prince Charles.

    I am joining the film club, it should be great.

  2. 2 danielweiresq

    Short term measure ? Well if it’s the decision that’s made then hopefully so, but rebuilding these things takes so so so much more time than breaking them down.

    My faith in the council is I have to admit very slim, (we’ve talked politics before so you know where I stand), however I have attempted to engage with them and will see what they say – I’m not very hopeful though.

    Film club should be great though.

    DW x

  3. 3 Cathy

    Well as I say, thanks to the mess this country was left in I don’t think the Council had much choice, sadly. It’s also ‘our’ fault too, the Guildhall wasn’t well used (sometimes there would be four people in an audience apparently) and it’s a beautiful space in the wrong town. Put that in Winchester where I used to live for example, and it would be well used. It’s a whole mixture of things that just leads to a very sad decision.

    I hope if the pressure is on to re-open and with some strong backing it should happen. I remain hopeful!

  4. 4 danielweiresq

    I disagree wholeheartedly with you regarding the state of the country, but you’ll be unsurprised by that given our political differences. That said I agree to an extent regarding the situation being *our* fault.

    In the mean time I will remain hopeful too . . .

    DW x

  1. 1 The Great Eastern « dig your fins

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