VICTORIA Hall, Ealing’s largest indoor public venue, is in danger of being lost to the community after more than a century, say campaigners.

People are invited to a meeting at 7.30pm on November 14 at The Forester, 2 Leighton Road, West Ealing, to hear how a number of community groups have joined to fight Ealing Council’s proposed disposal of Victoria Hall to a hotel company.

The hall is located next to Ealing Town Hall and was built in the 1880s with money raised by public subscription.

Public use of the hall would be available only on a restricted basis after a sale, with price increases controlled for 10 years. 

As Victoria Hall is owned by a charitable trust, the Charity Commission is being asked by the council to advise on whether it can proceed with the sale.

A decision is imminent, but seven prominent Ealing associations have joined together under the name of Friends of the Victoria Hall to campaign to save the building for use as a performing arts, exhibition and meeting space.

The organisations are  Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum, Campaign for an Ealing Performance & Arts Centre, Central Ealing Residents’ Association, Ealing Arts & Leisure, Ealing Civic Society,  Save Ealing’s Centre and West Ealing Neighbours.

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An Ealing Council spokesperson said: “Ealing Town Hall is an important building and we want it to be retained as a local landmark.

“However it is very expensive to maintain and repair and is in considerable need of refurbishment.

“The council has had a 64% cut in its government grant, meaning that, for every £1, we now have 36p and the upkeep is a continual drain on resources.

“Mastcraft has a track record in restoring and converting historic buildings into high-quality and will be responsible for the future maintenance and upkeep of the building.

“Once refurbished, the town hall will continue to deliver a civic function with offices for councillors, rooms for council meetings, marriage, citizenship ceremonies and community hire.

“To ensure the Victoria Hall and other rooms will continue to be available for community and other groups to hire for events, a Community Use Protocol has been included within the planning permission and also forms part of the lease agreement with Mastcraft.

“[It] makes provision for a forum that will include community representation for review of community-use operations.

 “The council has sought permission from the Charity Commission to change the way Victoria Hall is managed and it recently confirmed it is minded to approve the application and a draft scheme is expected to be published shortly.”

You can read about the 140-year history of the Victoria Hall here: