CAMPAIGNERS trying to save the Victoria Hall, Ealing, for public use, received good news this week from the Charity Commission.

It rejected Ealing Council’s application to seize the assets of the charitable trust that owns the hall, which is next to Ealing town hall.

The ruling blocks the council’s plans for selling the whole site so it can be turned into a hotel.

Victoria Hall was built with money raised through a Victorian crowdfunding campaign. It’s owned by a trust set up in 1893 to provide a venue for the community.

The council’s deal with Mastcraft cannot proceed unless it substantially revises its plans.

In a 13-page ruling published this week, the Commission agreed with many of the criticisms made by the Friends of Victoria Hall.

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A Reviewer appointed by the Commission says the council’s scheme could go ahead only on the following conditions:

1. Consideration should be given to how some of the money earned from the deal would be distributed to the charity;

2. Benefits provided by the charity would have to be re-provided in the building or elsewhere;

3. The council should be clear how it planned to use money earned from the sale of the hall to benefit the charity;

4. The hotel operator is obliged to re-provide the current facilities

5. A plan to settle any conflicts of interest that might arise should be outlined.

Roger Green, chair of the Friends of Victoria Hall, said: “In the next few weeks, we will be studying details of the Charity Commission decision before reaching a considered view on the options now available to us. 

“We may need to seek legal advice on the next steps, in which case we are likely to have to raise more money to fund this.”