An exciting new future for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry that celebrates its history and architecture

Raycliff, the owner of the former Bell Foundry buildings, is working with a heritage-led design team to deliver an exciting new and sustainable future for the site which celebrates and retains the architectural and historical significance of the Grade II* listed foundry building on the Whitechapel Road.

** December 2018 update **

In June and September 2018, we held public consultation events where we put forward our initial thoughts on the future of the former Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

Since then, we have been working closely with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and other interested groups to develop a proposition that will ensure the former Whitechapel Bell Foundry remains an important industrial and cultural landmark for Tower Hamlets and retains a key focus on the art of founding and bell-making.

The proposals for the Old Foundry, of course, have been the focus of a lot of the feedback. We’ve listened to that feedback and shaped our vision around it. Many of the things people said to us struck a chord. People want to be able to share in the site’s history, to see and understand how founding is done, and to experience the atmosphere and energy of the incredible historic buildings.

As a result, we have partnered with those who know best to deliver that. We have continued to engage with the Hughes family and are also working alongside the Westley Group – one of the largest and most successful industrial founding companies in the UK (who are also licensed by the Hughes family to produce Whitechapel Tower Bells, thereby maintaining the historic link) – and the AB Fine Art Foundry, a local Tower Hamlets business with an international reputation.

Working together, they will provide the expertise that offers a continuation of founding on this important historic site. More than this, they will educate and train a whole new generation of practitioners in this ancient skill.

The Old Foundry will look to the future too.  Anatole Notes, based in Bethnal Green, will manage artists’ workshops and workspace on-site (including flexible affordable space for the creative industries) and we are still discussing how the Whitechapel Gallery could curate an artists’ residency programme and/or facilitate art events, helping to discover the next generation of talent from the East End.

Overall, there will be a significant level of public access to the once closed off site, which will enable all members of the community to experience its unique character and history first hand.

The hotel element shall be on the rear site, which is of no historical value. Here a significant number of jobs, including local jobs for Tower Hamlets residents, will be created that will provide a boost to the local economy.

We are very cognisant of the responsibility that is incumbent on us in owning the former Whitechapel Bell Foundry. We believe that our proposals reflect how strongly we feel that responsibility.

 

Please view the FAQs for more information on the proposed uses of the site.

Click here to view the material displayed at our consultation events.

Click here to find out more about the proposals for the site.

Click here to find out how you can get involved in helping shape the proposals.

If you would like to be involved in the consultation or have any questions in the meantime, please email info@thebellfoundry.co.uk or call 0800 298 704.