Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP > View from the Commons 12th June

View from the Commons 12th June

12th June 2019

I was pleased to hear that Salisbury City Council this week backed the plans for the building that will house a hotel and temporary library.

This is in large part due to the willingness of the architects to engage and take on board the design concerns that were expressed earlier in the year. It is always important to be vigilant about the quality and utility of new buildings in our beautiful city centre and I am confident this two-way dialogue will continue.

This temporary move is a necessary first step towards creating a permanent new library that offers all the vital and beloved community facilities that the old one does – as well as being fit for the needs of the digital generation.

Most people know that the redevelopment of Market Walk from an enclosed passageway into a glass roofed arcade is only phase one of the Maltings plans. Other phases already revealed include new retail units and a welcome greening of the riverbank to create new open space and reduce flood risk.

But I am keeping my eyes firmly on future phases – the remodelling of the Playhouse and City Hall end of the Maltings to incorporate purpose-built music performance space, better social space and a future-proof library.

Detailed work is underway to define the scope of the ambition, incorporating the wish lists of existing arts and creative organisations and consumers of their output.

Although Salisbury is rich in culture, there are great opportunities in the arts and we must keep moving forward – adding facilities that are lacking but doing it in a way that protects and uplifts existing organisations.

Speaking of which, it has been great to see Salisbury International Arts Festival back in full force – I hope its triumphant run will have eclipsed the pessimism of those who predicted after last year’s hiatus that it would fade into obscurity. As I reflected at the very enjoyable Claire Teal concert over the weekend, nothing could be further from the truth.

Credit is due to Artistic Director Gareth Machin and his team. My congratulations also go to guest director Jonathan Dove, who was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Well done to the many other local people whose contributions have been rewarded, including Cara Charles-Barks, Salisbury District Hospital’s dynamic Chief Executive.

Posted by John Glen at 10:34am

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