Ealing Town Hall is debatably one of the more stunning pieces of architecture that our Borough has to offer, and having stood for over a century as a centre for local governance, countless civil ceremonies and more, memories of this neo-gothic grade II listed building will forever be etched into the hearts of many of the residents the building has been used to serve.
The section of the building called the Memorial Hall building was paid for with public donations under the explicit premise that it would be used for public functions and to serve the Borough’s residents. It’s not stretch of the imagination to state that its intended purpose wasn’t then to benefit private enterprise – a notion that’s figuratively speaking at bookends with the building’s raison d’être. The Council however seems intent on handing over this part of the building, situated in the west wing, to private developer Mast-craft for the purpose of being converted into a “boutique hotel“. They intend to do so on the basis that the Memorial Hall is, as a whole, grossly underused, and that in following through with these plans in a “multi-million pound redevelopment” it would “secure its long-term future“.
What complicates the issue though is that the Memorial Hall Building is protected by a Trust – one set up to ensure that the comprising rooms could continue to be used in the aforementioned manner and, in remaining so, still be a part of civic life and communal involvement. Most crucially, there is currently an ongoing consultation regarding the wording of the Trust, one in which the Council would like to alter the Trust’s wording so that their plans can become manifest. The consultation process will come to an end on 12th January, and so anyone wishing to have their voices heard on the matter should be quick to act!
In this interview we speak on the subject with the Chair of Save Ealing’s Centre, Will French, who strongly feels that the Council should not go ahead with this move and that the Trust as a whole is being dealt with in an inappropriate manner.
The charity commission can be contacted at cscorres1@charitycommission.
Further information on the subject can be found on the Council’s website (https://www.ealing.gov.uk/