The Charity Commission is welcoming comments and representations on these proposals until 6 January 2020.
Ealing Council made an application to the Charity Commission to request consent for the proposed disposal of Victoria Hall, as part of the wider disposal to Mastcraft. The application also proposed an internal land swap of the Prince’s Hall with the Queen’s Hall and that the future management and use of Victoria Hall will be consistent with the aims of the Trust.
The Charity Commission has agreed in principle to the disposal of Victoria Hall and the change to the Trust’s aims. A draft scheme has been published setting out the Charity Commission’s reasons for agreeing to the disposal.
Contracts have been exchanged with Mastcraft to lease Ealing Town Hall for the refurbishment of the building. This will allow the renovation of the space that the council will continue to use to deliver civic functions with offices for councillors, rooms for council meetings, marriage rooms, citizenship ceremonies and community hire, as well as the creation of a new hotel.
The council will retain freehold ownership of the town hall and will continue to act as a trustee for the Victoria Hall Trust, to ensure the Victoria Hall and Queen’s Hall, as well as other future rooms in the building, will be preserved for community use and charitable purposes.
The Charity Commission scheme
Under the new scheme, the council and the Victoria Hall Trustees will have permission to swap the Prince’s Hall for the Queen’s Hall as land to be held for charitable purposes.
A 250-year lease of the town hall including the Victoria Hall and Queen’s Hall will be granted to Mastcraft, trading as Surejogi Ealing Town Hall Limited. They will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building and will pay a premium and rent to the council. The Victoria Hall Trust will receive a share of this in relation to the Victoria Hall and Queen’s Hall.
The operation will be governed by a ‘Community Use Protocol’ which requires Mastcraft to establish a forum that will include community representation to monitor and review the operation of the community use provisions. Under this protocol, Ealing Council, The Victoria Hall Trust and Surejogi will work together to ensure these areas remain open for community group bookings all year round, at affordable rates.
The Community Use Protocol is part of the lease agreement with Mastcraft and has been included within the planning permission. It will apply for the full 250-year lease term, even if Surejogi changes the hotel premises to be used for a different purpose.
How do I make a representation?
Visit the council’s consultations page and please make sure to read the public notice and draft scheme documents, after which you can submit your comments and representations on the proposals directly to the Commission by filling out a short form. Please quote NM C- 482933 when completing the form.
The closing date for representations to be made is Monday, 6 January 2020.
For more information please visit the charity commission website.