Ini­tial lot­tery sup­port for town bell­foundry

To­wards restora­tion of his­toric site

Loughborough Echo - - LETTERS - ANDY RUSH andy.rush@reach­plc.com

THE Lough­bor­ough Bell­foundry Trust has re­ceived ini­tial Na­tional Lot­tery sup­port for the restora­tion of the his­toric Tay­lor’s Bell­foundry in Lough­bor­ough.

Made pos­si­ble by Na­tional Lot­tery play­ers, the project aims to res­tore key parts of the Grade II listed build­ing which is cur­rently on the His­toric Eng­land Her­itage at Risk Reg­is­ter.

The aim is to res­tore the build­ings, en­hance the com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion, at­tract more visi­tors and in­crease aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of Tay­lor’s

De­vel­op­ment fund­ing of £298,600 has been awarded by the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund (HLF) to help the Lough­bor­ough Bell­foundry Trust’ progress with the plans.

This is the first phase in a bid for £3.7m from the HLF, which it is pro­posed will be matched with fund­ing from a num­ber of sources in­clud­ing a fund rais­ing cam­paign which will be launched shortly.

Sub­ject to a suc­cess­ful se­cond round bid, work is ex­pected to start on the Bell­foundry in 2020.

There will be a wide range of op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to be in­volved with the project at the Bell­foundry, in­clud­ing her­itage craft work­shops, vol­un­teer­ing and arts and cul­tural events.

Tay­lor’s is the last bell­foundry in Bri­tain, the only ves­tige of an an­cient in­dus­try that cre­ates bells for thou­sands of build­ings around the world.

At least 20 mil­lion peo­ple in Bri­tain and hun­dreds of mil­lions world­wide will hear a Tay­lor bell ev­ery day.

How­ever, the pur­pose-built Vic­to­rian bell­foundry is at risk.

The trust says that with­out ur­gent re­pairs and fun­da­men­tal changes to en­gage­ment: “We will lose this in­cred­i­ble as­set and part of our cul­ture; a mas­sive loss to tra­di­tional craft­man­ship and a seis­mic im­pact on his­toric build­ings around the world.

“This project will; save the site, re­mov­ing it from the HAR reg­is­ter, se­cure the fu­ture of the in­dus­try in Bri­tain and its unique skills, cre­ate a Na­tional Bell Mu­seum, im­prove global en­gage­ment and en­sure Tay­lor bells are en­joyed by fu­ture gen­er­a­tions across the globe.”

Com­ment­ing on the award, An­drew Wilby, a trustee of the Lough­bor­ough Bell­foundry Trust said: “We are de­lighted that we have re­ceived this sup­port, thanks to Na­tional Lot­tery play­ers.

“We are look­ing for­ward to de­vel­op­ing our pro­pos­als fur­ther to save this na­tional gem, se­cur­ing the fu­ture of bell­found­ing in the UK and un­der­pin­ning the fu­ture of the English Art of Change-Ring­ing across the world.”

If you would like to sup­port the project please fol­low our face­book page or twit­ter feed (Twit­ter: @ Lboro­bell­trust, Face­book: face­book.com/lboro­bell­trust).

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