The CEPAC campaign A community arts centre for Ealing
Ealing Performance & Arts Centre is a charity which exists to promote a wide range of artistic and cultural activities in the community. As CEPAC, we have been fighting since 2010 for an arts facility in central Ealing. In November 2018, we submitted a bid to convert the Victoria Hall, which adjoins Ealing Town Hall and belongs to a charitable trust, into a community-based performance & arts centre. Our work to reach this important milestone has been through several key stages. We have:
conducted professional demand studies
prepared a detailed business plan
looked at a variety of sites
had discussions with landowners, developers and the Council
won public approval for the idea through the Neighbourhood Plan referendum
made a bid for the Victoria Hall and associated spaces
helped set up a Friends of Victoria Hall to save the Hall for the community.
Our plan CEPAC's proposal is for the Council-managed Trust which owns the Victoria Hall to be transferred to new independent Trustees, who would refurbish it for community use. We have drawn up a detailed scheme for the space to be separated from the Council's plan to sell the Town Hall.
A detailed feasibility study shows that our spatial plan fits well into the area covered by the Victoria Hall trust. Details of the plans can be seen in a video https://vimeo.com/457474916
The Victoria Hall was built by private donations, and it has been confirmed that the Trust which owns it is charitable. The Charity Commission ruled that the Council could not change the existing Trust Deed and sell the Hall to a private developer, unless it made major changes to its scheme including the appointment of independent Trustees. However it has now approved the scheme, even though not all the required changes have been made. How you can help
Spread the word and encourage others to back us too.
Keep the Victoria Hall lights on! Help our appeal against Council sell-off
A legal appeal has been launched against Ealing council’s scheme to dispose of the Victoria Hall to hotel developer Mastcraft.
The council plan means selling the Hall and its other rooms. These belong to the charitable trust which built it by public donations over 130 years ago, and have been home to a wide range of private and public events.
The Friends of Victoria Hall has asked a Tribunal to block the Charity Commission’s approval of the scheme. They say that the Commission was wrong to pass the plan, which has failed to meet the main requirements the Commission itself laid down last year.
The Friends believe the council has mismanaged the charity for many years, and has in fact been using its income to subsidise the cost of running the rest of the Town Hall. It should not now be able to profit from including the Trust property in its Town Hall sale.
CEPAC has backed the proposal to take the case to a Tribunal. While this is a costly process, it’s the only course now left to preserve the Hall as its original donors intended.
We urgently need your help. Please pledge as much as you can to help cover the legal costs. Be sure to sign up for Gift Aid to make your donation go even further – the HM Charity reference number is ZD045A7.