Call to Action - Public Inquiry - How to request to talk
6th October 2020
Online event through Microsoft Teams
On 6th October, at 10am, the public inquiry that will decide the future of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry will take place as a virtual event.
Your support and presence are needed more than ever: this is the chance make your voice heard and prevent the Whitechapel Bell Foundry from becoming a boutique-hotel based on the model of Soho House. The caterer identified by Raycliff (who will occupy a significant part of the historic building if the planning decision is upheld) is the Major Food Group who run 22 themed-restaurants in the US and were responsible for the controversial redesign of the Landmark protected restaurant in the Seagram building in New York, described as ‘one of the greatest modernist buildings ever built’.
As Edgar Bronfman Jr, former Chief Executive of the Seagram Company said:
"What is at stake here is whether ownership trumps preservation, whether deception triumphs over transparency and whether the wealth, power and influence of a building's proprietors can trample both the fundamental integrity of an historic space and the commission created to protect and preserve such spaces.’’
Please save the date and attend the public inquiry on 6th October through Microsoft Teams.
Alternatively you can take part by telephone. Calls would be to an 020 number which will incur charges.
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Over the past years, Factum Foundation and Re-Form Heritage have been fighting to demonstrate that a viable future, answering local and international needs, is possible for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. It is possible to reinvigorate the site and turn it into a working foundry again, specialising in the production of bells and works of art, together with a 3D and acoustic archive and research centre which will conduct bell recording, undertake research into historic casting methods, and develop machine learning predictive software to assist in the preservation of bells around the country and beyond.
We want to thank all 25,000 people who signed the petition, our supporters in the Mosque, the readers of the Spitalfield’s Life blog, and all those who were present during the protests and worked with us to reach this critical stage of our campaign to preserve and revitalise Britain’s oldest single-purpose industrial building. If many of you turn up to the inquiry, it will make the difference!
The bells cast at Whitechapel are the voices of nations: they mark the world’s celebrations and sorrows, representing principles of emancipation, freedom of expression and justice. These buildings, and the skills that have for centuries been honed within them, represent some of the most important intangible cultural heritage in Britain.
For those interested in supporting the initiative to save and revitalise the Bell Foundry in Whitechapel, there are a number of ways to be of assistance beyond attending the Inquiry: