The originator of the controversial scheme to operate a monthly Saturday food market in Penarth’s Grade II Listed Turner House Art Gallery has now decided not to go ahead with the plans.
Entrepreneur Jenny Yeo had proposed setting up a monthly “50-Mile-Market” – starting in September – in which all fresh produce for sale would have been produced within a 50 mile radius of Penarth.
The ownership of Turner House Gallery is uncertain (its title is not registered in the Land Registry) – but ostensibly the title deeds are held in trust by the National Museum of Wales on behalf of the people of Penarth to whom it was bequeathed by its founder – the Penarth flour magnate James Pyke Thompson.
The National Museum leases Turner House to the publicly-funded photographic ‘charity’ “Ffotogallery” which was in favour of the food-market scheme.
There was considerable local reaction when news of the planned indoor food-market scheme was first published by PDN on May 31st 2016 ( see http://tinyurl.com/gs6rgt9 ) .
This was later to be followed-up on June 9th 2016 by the local newspaper The Penarth Times which reported concerns that the proposed “Farmers’ Market” would “displace” local artists.
Jenny Yeo has now issued a statement thanking “all those in Penarth who have been supportive and in favour of the market” . She says “The vast majority saw it as an asset, bringing new people into the gallery and widening it’s reach. Three hours once a month would not have marginalised the artists who I hoped would also approach the leaseholders and work with them for more opportunities to use this beautiful building for the benefit of the wider community.”
Ms Yeo goes on to say “However having not intended to be a controversial figure, the extreme views taken by the minority and the disturbing amount of personal abuse I have received I will no longer be going ahead with the plans.”
She has thanked local retails and residents who had contacted her to voice their “approval and excitement” and also to PDN commentators “MGG“, “Timothy Hughes” and “Bartholomew” who had supported the idea.
In concluding her statement Ms Yeo says “I hope this puts an end to the unpleasantness which has been a negative influence on our lovely town”.
The story of the Turner House bequest is on PDN (http://tinyurl.com/qc2hjdl)