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Local campaigners are hoping to turn part of Ealing Town Hall into a performance arts centre.

It's the latest twist in the ongoing battle to prevent the Town Hall being turned into a luxury hotel.

Two years ago the council named Mastcraft, as the preferred bidder - they want the grade II listed building to become a 140-bed, boutique hotel with a lease for 245 years. Whilst the Council would remain freeholders and get to keep the east wing with the Council Chamber and marriage rooms, Victoria Hall and Princes Rooms would have formed part of the deal with the developers.

However, in September 2016 the Ealing Voice (EV) group successfully appealed for the Town Hall to be listed as an asset of community value -- a building or piece of land whose main use furthers the social wellbeing or interests of the local community. Following this listing, EV discovered that part of the Town Hall building - the Victoria Hall at the western end of the building - was governed by a charitable trust and according to campaigners could not be sold off by the Council

Campaign group CEPAC has now made a bid for the performing arts centre to be set up in the Victoria Hall.

CEPAC’s proposal met the deadline for bids for Ealing Town Hall under the Assets of Community Value rules. These rules have so far delayed the Council from agreeing a deal to lease the whole building to Mastcraft.

The Council must now consider all the options for the future of the Hall and its related areas. It also has still to get permission from the Charity Commission if it wants to sell any of the Trust property.

CEPAC say the Council’s own figures show that the Trust’s Halls have been producing a profit, which is meant to be retained for charitable purposes.

Chair of CEPAC, John Hummerston, said:  “Studies by our professional consultants show that a properly run arts centre could generate an income at least 50% higher than the Council has managed to achieve, while meeting a long-felt need in the local community.

“A new set of trustees should be appointed without delay. An independent charity would have access to funds that are not available to the Council, and we know the public will be eager to back a separate Trust as an alternative to the present council-run committee.”   

We have asked Ealing Council for information regarding the disposal of the town hall and whether they have received any other bids and will update.


20th November 2018

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