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.
9
days to go
£25,372
pledged of £35,000 stretch target from 608 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: July 20, 2021

Last chance to save the Victoria Hall

This unique central Ealing community facility is in jeopardy. The Council wants to sell it off to a hotel developer, despite the fact that it is charitable trust property, paid for by our Victor…

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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.

Update 7

Friends of the Victoria Hall

July 20, 2021

Last chance to save the Victoria Hall

This unique central Ealing community facility is in jeopardy. The Council wants to sell it off to a hotel developer, despite the fact that it is charitable trust property, paid for by our Victorian forebears and specifically intended for community use. In a last throw of the dice, the Friends of the Victoria Hall are taking the Charity Commission, which has approved the Council's plans, to tribunal.

This means using the best legal team we can muster. So once again we are asking you to pledge your support – not just on behalf of today's communities but for future generations in this large and fast-growing borough. The Friends have a fully developed plan for refurbishing the Hall and allied spaces in order to bring them into use as a modern performance and arts centre. 

There is nowhere else in the centre of Ealing that can serve this purpose, and under the new regime the Hall would be effectively lost to the people of the borough – the charity's beneficiaries – for whom it was built.

Help us stop the theft of this important building, home for well over a century to events of all kinds – performances, exhibitions, meetings, dance classes, festivals and much more.

Please pledge as much as you can to help us cover our legal expenses, and sign up for Gift Aid to make your donation go even further.

The Friends of the Victoria Hall Save Victoria Hall campaign

Gift Aid declaration

Name (in CAPS): ...............................................................

Email: ….……………………………………………………………

Postal address: ..............................................................................

Post code: .......................................................................................

I would like to enhance my donation through Gift Aid.

I am a UK taxpayer and I understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

Signed:





Update 6

Friends of the Victoria Hall

June 12, 2021

Funding for Tribunal urgently needed

The Victoria Hall is a unique central Ealing community facility. It has hosted meetings, concerts, exhibitions, festivals and all kinds of performance for 126 years. The Charity Commission has ignored hundreds of complaints from local residents and submissions from the Friends of the Victoria Hall that demonstrate the flagrant injustice of the property disposal. The Commission would allow the Council to lease the charity property to a hotel developer for 250 years – and has completely disregarded the conflict of interest inherent in a council governing a charitable trust. We now have no choice but to go to Tribunal, with a professional legal team.


Why are we mounting this costly operation? Because there is nowhere else in central Ealing available where the community, from all parts of this large borough, can gather for the type of event for which the Victoria Hall was built. Instead, it will be subsumed into a hotel, with guest rooms inserted into its eastern end and the stage taken away.   This will make large-scale events in the compromised space impossible to accommodate – and it's certainly not what the original Victorian crowdfunders had in mind.


We must stop the theft of this important building, then get the space refurbished and brought back into its intended use. How? See video link below, following Gift Aid form.


Help us, please, by pledging as much as you can to cover our legal expenses, and sign up for Gift Aid to make your donation go even further.

The Friends of the Victoria Hall Save Victoria Hall campaign


Gift Aid declaration


Name (in CAPS): ...............................................................


Email: ….……………………………………………………………


Postal address: ..............................................................................


Post code: .......................................................................................



I would like to enhance my donation through Gift Aid.


I am a UK taxpayer and I understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.




Signed:




Date: ………………………



Please return your signed form to FoVH Treasurer, 103 Delamere Road, Ealing, London W5 3JR. Alternatively, scan the signed form and email it to fovhchair@gmail.com.


And see the video created last year to show how the Victoria Hall could be revamped as a modern community centre:  https://vimeo.com/457474916

Update 5

Friends of the Victoria Hall

April 18, 2021

Help us overturn unjust Charity Commission ruling

The Charity Commission has just agreed to allow Ealing Council to dispose of the Victoria Hall and other Charitable Trust property, which will mean it is effectively lost to the community. The Commission has made this ruling despite the fact that the Council has produced no accounts for the charity it controls, failed to clarify the extent of the Trust property, and done nothing to end the conflict of interest that exists in its dual role as council and Trustee.

What's more, a Community Use Protocol has been agreed that prevents use of the Hall by the community at weekends and imposes hire charges that are even steeper than the unaffordable rates already in place – and this for space that will be seriously compromised by having a concrete cube inserted to accommodate hotel rooms, courtesy of the Council's chosen developer.

The injustice of the Commission's decision to allow such disposal of charitable property is beyond belief. Now, the Friends of the Victoria Hall is taking the case to Tribunal, a costly but, we believe, essential challenge to this flawed and unjustifiable ruling.

We urgently need your help. Please pledge as much as you can to support this legal challenge – and sign up for Gift Aid to make your donation go even further. The people of Ealing will be in your debt for generations to come for helping to save this precious community amenity.

Gift Aid declaration

Name (in CAPS)................................................................................

Email..................................................................................................

Postal address, inc. post code.........................................................

...........................................................................................................

I would like to enhance my donation through Gift Aid. I am a UK taxpayer and I understand that if I pay less income tax and/or capital gains tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

Signed.....................................                  Date..................................

Please return your signed form to FoVH Treasurer, 103 Delamere Road, Ealing, London W5 3JR. Alternatively, scan the signed form and return it to

fovhchair@gmail.com

Thank you very, very much.

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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