IT was with mixed feeling that I read your front page last week re the departure of Christian Perdrier.
Of course, we want the Garden to be a success, but the application of Disneyland business principles never felt right within the context of historic Alnwick and north Northumberland.
We need to look forward and come up with a fresh approach that will actually work in the long term.
It needs to be economically viable without continual subsidy from regional funds (now non-existent) or the Percy family.
Job number one is to understand and fully appreciate the resources that are actually available, not only the Garden with a fantastic castle, but a stunning small town populated by genuine, straight-forward people.
We need to be releasing the value from the excellence that we have, not trying to create something new.
Job number two is to get us locals truly integrated with the Garden and using it on the regular basis.
That means somebody with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and a love of Northumberland needs to forge a very strong local community spirit.
Forget the international profile.
You have to get the basics right first before you can successfully grow the bigger picture
As a business in the middle of Alnwick with over 90 people employed, we await developments with interest.
R Hugh Fell
George F White