AS a fan of music and the arts and having a professional interest in regeneration strategies, it is with sadness that I hear of the closure of the Great Malvern Club.

It has long been recognised that the way to avoid divisions in a community is through enlightened and inclusive political strategies which have the aim of bringing people from as many parts of society as possible together in an atmosphere of mutual interest, learning and, above all, equality of opportunity.

When the creative members of a community are marginalised in order to fulfil the financial interests of a few, unrest and disenchantment are the natural result.

When young and creative people have no forum through which to express themselves, disenfranchisement, frustration and boredom leads to destructive behaviour, including crime, violence, hooliganism and substance abuse.

Having parents who met at a dance at the Winter Gardens in the early 60s and having grown up here while the same venue was a popular and thriving magnet to people from the whole of the West Midlands and beyond, due to its contemporary repertoire and regular events, one must ask, why is this no longer the case?

On what basis can those responsible for promoting the cultural life of our town justify spending £7 million on refurbishing the Winter Gardens, while effectively excluding the young and innovative, through policy and high costs, from using the Forum?

Equally, why are the council not going out of their way to support Dr Downey in his efforts to provide the community with a centre in which young local people can fulfil their artistic and social needs?

I would suggest that it is the primary responsibility of the council to support the needs of the whole community proactively. Rather than Dr Downey having to pay for refurbishment of the club himself, why are public funds not made available to support this important and necessary facility?

I'm sure the council has an arts' budget, so why doesn't it use some of it to support the needs of the creative people of the town?

Further, I would suggest that rather than turning the Post Office into yet another non-viable shopping arcade or elitist restaurant, we finally create a Community Centre for Malvern where it should be - in the middle of the town. How appropriate, given our cultural heritage and the current depressing cultural vacuum, that the community should get a centre in its centre!

I am personally prepared to produce a European Regeneration Grant proposal to raise funds in order to support this project and invite everybody in the community to contribute their ideas by writing to the newspaper or to me personally at

M G Taylor, Walwyn Road, Colwall.