Bury St Edmunds gallery could be on the move

Smiths Row art gallery Bury St Edmunds. ANL-150217-213327009
Smiths Row art gallery Bury St Edmunds. ANL-150217-213327009
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An art gallery in Bury St Edmunds threatened with losing all its council funding in the next two years is setting its sights on a new home.

Smiths Row Art Gallery, in Cornhill, is set lose its £25,000 funding from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and will have to bid for contributions from a visual arts grant fund with other organsations.

Despite this news, the gallery has said it is planning to move to a new arts complex at Bury St Edmunds railway station.

Smiths Row Board member Marguerite Nice said: “There are some exciting plans in the air for what we will be doing, working with other opportunities.

“This is still very embryonic, but it is certainly not the end of Smiths Row.

“One hopes that if we can do something successful at the train station site, other partners will want to be involved.”

Cllr Sarah Stamp, St Edmundsbury Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage said: “We are delighted that Smiths Row is seeking to play a major role in the regeneration of the Bury St Edmunds’ train station.

“Both St Edmundsbury and Suffolk County Council are hoping to support them in developing a business model for this exciting prospect that relies less on public money, makes the visual arts more accessible to more people and creates a unique gateway to Bury.”

Terry Warden, of the Milkmaid Folk Club Community Interest Company, which currently works from the train station building, said: “I cannot see why we cannot have a partnership, and can see us doing projects together.

“We all have to look at having partnerships these days, as all charitable groups are after the same funding pot.

“I’m happy with the way the train station development is going so far.”

Cllr Stamp said it was ‘impossible’ to prevent reductions in the council’s central government funding from having a ‘knock-on effect’ to the organisations its supports financially.

She added the council had been helping the companies it grant funds to become more self-reliant.