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January 2021 News

We hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas despite the last minute changes and the worrying spread of COVID-19. We hope that despite the many challenges, better times are round the corner for us all and we will be able to bounce back and enjoy a busy Summer.


We also wanted to take the time to thank you all for taking part in our town-wide 'Our Aldeburgh' Christmas campaign. We are grateful to Henri Villiers and Gina Gow for coordinating this and everyone who supported us.


For our first post of 2021 we include an update on our contribution to the Scottish Power Renewable hearings that are currently taking place and information about our newest members, BALLROOM ARTS.


Renewables are a good thing so why all the fuss?


ABA members will have seen signs and banners in and around Aldeburgh regarding Scottish Power Renewables (SPR). SPR are at the head of a queue of many international energy companies that want to use the AONB between Thorpeness beach and Friston for their cabling trenches and substations over the next 12-15 years. Each will involve huge 9km trenches running across unspoilt countryside, closing roads and footpaths, threatening the tranquillity of the area that visitors love and impacting on the viability of businesses and cultural venues. No local jobs will be created.


It seems impossible but the threat is very real.


It does not have to be done like this, SPR have options. Other countries, such as Germany and Denmark, run a ring main from one wind farm to another and then bring their energy in at one single point, usually a brownfield industrial site.


The Planning Authority is currently examining SPRs plans and is taking evidence from ‘interested parties’. Sarah Whitelock read SPR’s report regarding the impact of their planned construction on tourism and made a submission which you can read below. The committee put together a video for the examiners which you can view here and, if you want to know what our local MP, Thérèse Coffey, has to say you can view her giving evidence here.


Do please let us know what you think, and if you would like to have your say in any future videos, we would love to hear from you!

FINAL written submission to SPR 02.11
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BALLROOM ARTS is a new permanent showcase for the best in contemporary arts and crafts. It will be a major new, year round attraction in Aldeburgh offering a wide range of arts and crafts, gifts and collectables, exhibitions and events.

The new name for the combined spaces previously known as The Peter Pears Gallery and The Garage Gallery, at 152A High Street reflects the history of the space from the days of The East Suffolk Hotel, when the upstairs space was a function room.

Designed by Tom Brent, Director of Urban Resolve Ltd and behind The Kitchen @ Thorpeness and Emporium, BALLROOM ARTS will provide a substantially improved building and selling environment for traders and visitors. The revised layout features a street-level entrance and internal access to the ground floor gallery space. In addition to the gallery exhibitions, a range of creative activities including workshops and lectures for all ages will also be programmed throughout the year. There will be a new internal stairway and lift to the upper floor. This main space will be set out with permanent display stalls and accommodate fifty plus makers whose work includes ceramics, glass, jewellery, sculpture, paintings and printmaking, textiles, furniture and metalwork. A new balcony area will open out to views out to the sea. The High Street archway and exterior of the building will be renovated and the courtyard will be resurfaced with new lighting. Suffolk Secrets will continue to trade from their current High Street premises.

The refurbishment work is planned to start on Monday 25 January and complete by the end of May. Through the ABA we will keep you informed about our progress and opportunities for cooperative marketing and collaborations.

Our website, www.ballroomarts.org will be live in January. In the meantime please email Eileen Haring Woods, in charge of branding and marketing for further information.


Keep well and we look forward to sharing further news soon.


From your committee,

Ella, Gary, Gina, Richard and Sarah

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