The redevelopment of Ealing Town Hall, that aims to secure the long-term future of the building, has been agreed by Ealing Council’s cabinet.
Councillors were asked to approve Mastcraft as the council’s preferred development partner. The council hopes this will ensure that the neo-gothic building will continue to be at the heart of the borough’s civic life.
The Victoria Hall and Council Chamber will be preserved as part of an 18-month refurbishment to reconfigure the underused building. The council would retain the east wing of the building for civic use and marriage ceremonies with part of the west wing turned into a boutique hotel.
In addition to the ongoing use of the Victoria Hall, there could be a further eight areas within the building available for public hire. As part of the agreement, community groups would continue to be offered a discount to hire rooms during off peak periods. Price increases would be capped at a maximum of 20% above the existing hire rates for the first five years. This reflects the council’s desire for the continued use of the building by the local community and businesses. The council would also be given free use of the Victoria Hall 10 times each year.
As part of the west wing hotel development there could be a restaurant, health and fitness centre, 4th floor roof terrace and a ground level cocktail bar with bistro leading out to Dickens Yard.
Subject to planning permissions, the new look town hall and hotel could be reopened in early 2019.
The developer has made a commitment to recruit local people to work on the build and to work in the hotel once opened.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “Ealing Town Hall is a magnificent building that is well-loved locally but like all historic buildings it is very expensive to maintain and repair and is in considerable need of refurbishment. It is essential that we leave a legacy that assures its future at the civic heart of our community so that it can continue to accommodate a range of democratic, community and commercial activities that contribute to Ealing’s economic and cultural life in the 21st century and beyond.
“I am determined to find a way to preserve this historic building as a lasting legacy for the people of the borough while reducing the burden on council tax payers.”
The council will continue to own the freehold of the site, with the building leased to the development partner on a long lease.
Girish Sanger, director of Mastcraft, said: “We have recently opened the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch and we want Ealing Town Hall to mirror its sensitive, high-quality design. This was our second conversion of a Grade II listed Magistrates Court into a luxury hotel. We know that our previous experience of developing a heritage building will be invaluable. This project would be Mastcraft’s 11th hotel in the UK and 6th in London”.