Don’t look now! But Cannes is canned…
Sep25

Don’t look now! But Cannes is canned…

Another victim of the Valley of the Trams…

Don’t look now! But Cannes is canned…

Another victim of the Valley of the Trams…

the Bartons Extreme Sports Film Festival has been postponed until 2015


Bartons has experienced a really encouraging public response to their Autumn 'Silence of the Trams - Series of Irregular Events' at Chilwell. Comedy has near sold out, Sunday Markets have been a delight and the Heritage Event at Bartons was more popular than ever on Saturday September 13th. Audiences are building for music events too. There is even a planning application in a current consultation period at Broxtowe Borough Council, proposing regularisation of the wide range of experimental uses seen in recent years in Bartons Gallery building (see Broxtowe planning application number 14/00556/FUL to comment).
 
'However' says Simon Barton, Bartons Managing Director 'promoting and delivering the events has been made unforeseeably difficult by the delays in tram construction.  These have meant that we have lost the main road of High Road Chilwell and all its passing traffic'
 
He continues
 
'This road was due to be reopened in March this year. The tram was due to run for the public before Christmas this year. We thought we would play it safe, and reopen our events in July to catch the Summer holiday period, Autumn and Christmas season. Well after the road and track should have been completed.'
 
The decision was thought a sound one on the information available; that was until on the 27th June 2014, Nottingham Express Transit announced a major delay - meaning the road was to remain closed for further six months, on top of the year it had already been closed.
 
'Add to this catastrophe that occupiers of this street were told originally when the tram was planned that the road would remain open for vehicles; but then that it would close to make construction six months quicker. We have ended in a situation that we have lost our vital 'shop window' and critical private and public transport links for 18 months'.
 
'To put only the loss of public visibility into perspective, to rent a suitably sized billboard on such a prominent highway for eighteen months would cost around £40,000'.
 
Despite the success of many events Bartons have been compelled to cut back some of their events yet again, having closed entirely for a period in 2013. Film in the guise of 'Not the Cannes Film Festival' has itself been 'canned' for this year, and planned major Christmas events will not now take place.
 
'We accept that the road should be reopened by then, indeed we have now been told it will re-open on the 18th October which is a great relief. But these popular events are difficult enough to pull off successfully when everything is going your way, and they take a phenomenal up-front investment of money and time. There is the worry that there might be further problems to overcome that are perhaps even now known, but are being hidden from us, as they have been before'
 
Going ahead with some of these more expensive events is simply not worth the risk this year and we will concentrate only on those that seem able to thrive in these difficult circumstances, before regrouping for next year'.
 
It is Bartons belief that it will take some considerable time for the use of High Road Chilwell to return to anything nearing its original bustling former self, and it is even now yet to be confirmed whose buses will run on this route - in recent years four companies operated an amazingly frequent on some routes 24 hour a day service to local people.
 
And only time will tell whether the eventual running of the tram itself will bring anything additional to the future prosperity of the area.

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