Save Ealing's Victoria Hall

by Friends of the Victoria Hall

Save Ealing's Victoria Hall

by Friends of the Victoria Hall
Friends of the Victoria Hall
Case Owner
This charity was formed in November 2019 to save the Victoria Hall and allied rooms (charity property) in Ealing Town Hall from being disposed of by Ealing Council to a hotel developer.
8
days to go
£9,729
pledged of £12,500 stretch target from 216 pledges
Pledge now
Friends of the Victoria Hall
Case Owner
This charity was formed in November 2019 to save the Victoria Hall and allied rooms (charity property) in Ealing Town Hall from being disposed of by Ealing Council to a hotel developer.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: April 15, 2020

Charity Commission rules on Victoria Hall disposal

The Charity Commission has rejected Ealing Council's application to seize the assets of the charitable trust that owns the Victoria Hall and allow it to become part of a hotel.


To proceed with its…

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Ealing Council is seeking to sell off this unique community facility to a commercial hotel developer. The Friends of the Victoria Hall are fighting to stop this.

The Victoria Hall, attached to but separate from the Town Hall, is Ealing’s largest community space, also comprising the Prince’s Hall below it and related offices and all owned by a charity. The complex was built in the 1800s and paid for by what was essentially Victorian crowdfunding. In 1893 a charitable trust was set up to secure the use of the space for the benefit of the people of Ealing, with the Council as trustee. The Halls have served the community for 126 years, hosting countless music events, public meetings, multicultural gatherings, exhibitions and more.

In a deal to sell off the rest of the Town Hall, Ealing Council wants to hand over the Victoria Hall complex on a 250-year lease to hotel developers, who intend to demolish part of the listed building to accommodate the hotel. The Prince’s Hall would be lost to the charity entirely and ‘replaced’ by the much smaller, less suitable Queen’s Hall. The hotel developers would run the Victoria Hall complex as part of their business and all the profits from it would go to them. The Victoria and Prince's Halls – and the charity – would be lost for the purposes intended by the Victorian philanthropists and the 1893 trust deed. 

The Council, as trustee, cannot proceed with its plans without Charity Commission approval. In particular, the Council may not grant the lease to the developers or swap the Prince’s Hall with the Queen’s Hall unless the Commission authorises this. We are fighting to stop this happening, and if necessary will challenge the Charity Commission in the Tribunal if it backs the Council’s plans.

What’s more, there is no need for the Council, acting as charity trustee, to sell the Victoria Hall complex to commercial developers. It can continue to operate as its benefactors intended. Fully costed plans exist for refurbishing the Halls without Council money to make them fit for the 21st century.

Why Ealing needs the Victoria Hall

Ealing’s community needs a space such as the Victoria Hall as much now as when it was built. Our rapidly growing, ethnically diverse population – forecast to increase by 25% in the next ten years – needs public places where people can meet and integrate. Young and old need facilities to pursue their interests, whether these are religious festivals, dancing, music performances, art workshops or the classes of the University of the Third Age (one of the many organisations now denied the Victoria Hall facilities). 

The Victoria Hall is a unique asset that belongs to us all. Please don't delay – support our fight to save it for the community, by donating to our appeal now.

Thank you.

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Update 4

Friends of the Victoria Hall

April 15, 2020

Charity Commission rules on Victoria Hall disposal

The Charity Commission has rejected Ealing Council's application to seize the assets of the charitable trust that owns the Victoria Hall and allow it to become part of a hotel.


To proceed with its deal with developers Mastcraft the Council would have to substantially revise its plans and address the major conflict of interest that exists between Council and charity - not to mention the even worse conflict that would exist between charity and commercial hotel.


The Charity Commission wants benefits provided by the charity to be made available in the building or elsewhere. It also wants the money realised from the sale of the Hall to be used to benefit the charity.


The Friends of the Victoria Hall are seeking legal advice on the next steps, which may mean that more fundraising is necessary. Enormous thanks to all who have supported us thus far. We are 40% towards our target, so if you could manage another donation, ideally with Gift Aid, it would certainly help.

Update 3

Friends of the Victoria Hall

March 1, 2020

Just a few days to go - help us reach our target!

Thanks to everyone who's donated so far, and who has filled in the Gift Aid form we emailed the other day. Note that the signature is not essential on this form. Do fill it in and return it to the 'reply' address. And could you manage to donate just a little more before the crowdfunding deadline arrives? We'd be so grateful.


Update 2

Friends of the Victoria Hall

Feb. 19, 2020

Just a little further to go...

We're doing well, but we're not there yet. Please keep the donations coming in so that we can pay our lawyers for the fantastic work they did for us in double-quick time before Christmas, burning quite a bit of midnight oil to meet the deadline. Please, if you can, lob in a little more cash!

Update 1

Friends of the Victoria Hall

Feb. 13, 2020

Sheer generosity - from the Victorian crowdfunders and now today's

You are a phenomenally generous set of people. We have almost reached our initial target after just two and a half days. But we need to keep going to reach our stretch target, so please keep the money coming in, and make sure no friend, neighbour or family member is unaware of this important campaign. Well done, everyone, and thanks!

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