From 1 October fully accessible and modern rooms and event spaces on the ground floor in Perceval House will be available for people and community groups to use.
Costings for community hire are currently being finalised and details will be published soon. The council is keen to encourage community use of the space, which will be factored into the pricing structure.
Council meetings to take place in Perceval House
Council and committee meetings will also take place in rooms and spaces on the ground floor in Perceval House from September. The move ensures accessibility for everyone needing and wanting to attend public meetings. Details of where meetings will take place will be published on the council’s website.
The mayor’s parlour will also be moved to Perceval House and the mayor will continue to host meetings and events with guests that can be attended by everyone.
The few remaining staff and councillors working in Ealing Town Hall are also to move to office spaces in Perceval House.
‘Opportunity to open Perceval House to everyone’
Council Leader, Peter Mason said that opening Perceval House for wider public and community use would provide a valuable insight as to how the building might be used in the medium to long term.
“As we announced in our retrofit first approach to retaining Perceval House, we want to open Perceval House to everyone and see the ground floor become a lively space for our residents and communities.
“By relocating public meetings and creating bookable event and meeting spaces in Perceval House, we are taking the first step in honouring this commitment and understanding what people want and need from their community spaces.”
The future of Ealing Town Hall
The council is waiting for a decision to be made by the judiciary on whether parts of Ealing Town Hall can be renovated and refurbished by a developer as a hotel.
The plans would also see the council returning to occupy the eastern part of the building for civic purposes such as offices for councillors and rooms for council meetings, marriage and citizenship ceremonies and community hire. The Victoria Hall and other rooms would also continue to be available for community and other groups to hire for events.
Parts of the Ealing Town Hall used for events and meetings are not currently accessible to people with health conditions or impairments who are unable to use the stairs unaided. This is because there are no designated safety fire refuge points across the building for those who may need extra assistance to evacuate the building safely.
And, a recent health and safety inspection, undertaken by external inspectors, also found that due to the building’s age – 135 years – most of the internal Victorian and Edwardian fire stopping measures do not meet current standards.
With these factors in mind, the decision to close Ealing Town Hall to staff, councillors, and visitors has been brought forward to October 2023.
Bookings for room and space hire in Ealing Town Hall are no longer being taken.
Councillor Mason recognised people would be concerned about the future of Ealing Town Hall. He said:
“The long-term future of Ealing Town Tall has always been our priority and I know people will be worried about the future of our iconic and much cherished town hall.
“We eagerly await the Tribunal’s decision about the future of Ealing Town Hall but, in the meantime, we need to move forward our plans to open up Perceval House; and ensure peoples’ safety.
“We have fulfilled our role to preserve Ealing Town Hall as a building for the people of Ealing as best as we can. But as a listed building it is very expensive to maintain and repair and is now in considerable need of a substantial refurbishment to make it safe, fit for purpose and useable by all.
“The decision to close the building see’s the start of the plans to open Perceval House for wider community use and mitigates accessibility and health and safety concerns.”