Ealing group’s arts centre bid
Campaign group CEPAC has made a bid for a performance arts centre to be set up in Ealing’s Victoria Hall, which is covered by a charitable trust.
CEPAC’s proposal was lodged with the Council last week, to meet the deadline for bids for Ealing Town Hall under the Assets of Community Value rules. These rules have so far delayed the Council from agreeing a deal to sell the whole building to Mastcraft, a ‘boutique’ hotel developer.
The Council must now consider all the options for the future of the Hall and its related areas. It also has still to get permission from the Charity Commission if it wants to sell any of the Trust property.
The Council’s own figures show that the Trust’s Halls have been producing a profit, which is meant to be retained for charitable purposes. Chair of CEPAC John Hummerston said: “Studies by our professional consultants show that a properly run arts centre could generate an income at least 50% higher than the Council has managed to achieve, while meeting a long-felt need in the local community.”
Work will need to be done on the Grade II listed Hall to put it into a better state and make it fit for a stand-alone arts centre. “A new set of trustees should be appointed without delay”, says John. “An independent charity would have access to funds that are not available to the Council, and we know the public will be eager to back a separate Trust as an alternative to the present council-run committee.”