Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Regen Gallery Costs Council £17m+

I'm indebted to regular contributor Millicent for winkling out a news item about a regeneration project in West Bromwich, based on an art gallery, which on the face of it seems to have gone horribly wrong.

The Public in West Bromwich opened recently, three years late and £20m over budget. The centre has attracted very few visitors, with one concert drawing an audience of just 17 people. Despite the Arts Council coughing up £30m for the project, the local council has now been forced to donate a further £3m on top of the £500,000 a year it already contributes to the running costs and the £14m it paid out in the first place. A new architect had to be appointed during construction when the first went bust, but the whole thing still had to be put into administration in 2006 and only threw open the doors six weeks ago. According to the article:

A local newspaper counted 12 people walking into the centre during a quarter-hour period at Friday lunchtime. Five went straight through and out the other side; three were contractors; two went in to use the toilet and two sat down for a tea.

Sound familiar? Well before you get all hot and steamy under the proverbial, the story was in the dreaded Daily Mail, which is not a paper known for its, er, appreciation of the arts. Nonetheless I have to say it sent a bit of a shudder down my spine!

Click here to read full story in the Daily Mail. And don't forget to wash your eyes out with soap afterwards.


Anonymous said...

Some winkling, no wonder your indebted.

Hidden in a mass market newspaper

Get over yourself you!

Hold the middle page!

you big tart!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Completely hidden to me, in fact, as I would ordinarily prefer to pluck out my one working eyeball than cast it over the stinking Mail.

Besides, if rehashing the nationals is good enough for the local rags, it's good enough for me!

Anonymous said...

Irritating Bloke put the West Brom centre on as a link some weeks ago on a Thanet blog.

Anonymous said...

A cautionary tale?

Anonymous said...

The Daily Mail is a highly respected newspaper - the only thing I hold against them is being proprietor of the Isle of Thanet Gazunder and the Titty Times!

It's the damned Guardian we should be disliking here!

Anonymous said...

And who, pray, reads Irritating Bloke 7.02?

Sindy Shylock said...

Daily Mail better than the Gazette? I think not.

Don't get me wrong, the Mail is a great paper but it's full of adverts and celebrity gossip. Luckily, nobody of any consequence lives in Thanet so we don't have to read all that rubbish in the Gazette.

What I like about the Gazette is that it is quite balanced. Even though I am a natural conservative I appreciate the fact that they give a balanced picture of local life. It would be so easy for Bex to support her party but she gives the others a fair chance

Anonymous said...

This story from the Mail is sadly going to be repeated here and some aspects already have in terms of £6million wated already. Look out for the bill for TDC subsidy in the future to hit Thanet Council Tax payers in 2011.

Anonymous said...

Maybe for once the council have planned ahead .

The original wacky design having been scrapped the new one looks like a Primark, so once the gallery goes tits up, Primark or Ann Summers will have a new home.

Anonymous said...

moan moan moan, get over it chaps, you know what, its going to be great, london art types love margate and spend spend spend when they are down these parts, so bring it on, good people working at TC now, listened to locals etc, great cafe planed, good shop, block buster Turner shows, Think Tate st.Ives crossed with De La Warr Pavilion. Are you ready to capitalize or are you going to moan?

Anonymous said...

We didn't vote for this expenditure and so, we shouldn't have to pay when it all goes t*ts up (as it inevitably will). Those who have been voting for this on our behalf without asking us(i.e. the elected Councillors) should be financially liable for the losses. Vote for your nearest "no tax increases for 5 years" party member and they will refuse to sanction increases in Council tax to bail out the idiots who haven't produced a viable business plan before ploughing ahead with this project.

Anonymous said...

"Are you ready to capitalize or are you going to moan?"

I'll stick to moaning thank you very much. If you think it's such a sure thing, you underwrite it with your own money; Oh, I forgot, you haven't got any money, have you? You spend every last penny down the legion, whilst telling the rest of us how our taxes should be spent.

Quentin Qashin said...

What's wrong with you people? An expensive elitist effort is just what us Londoners want from Margate, esp as it helps boost our property prices.
What would you have in it's place, homes and jobs for the locals? Pah that'll never catch on, and REAL papers like the Guardian won't write about that.
Grow up and get really to fetch me a skinny latte.