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Whitechapel Bell Foundry: a matter of national importance

This fact book has been compiled to capture the breadth of the campaign to save the site of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which is currently threatened by a proposal for conversion into a boutique hotel.


Re-Form Heritage and the future of Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the UK’s oldest continuous manufacturing business and one of its finest cultural and heritage assets. Established in 1570, the foundry is famed across the world, having manufactured Big Ben, the Liberty Bell and Bow Bells amongst many thousands of other bells still in daily use.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry site was acquired in 2017 for development as a commercial hotel and hospitality venue. In January 2019, Raycliff Whitechapel LLP submitted development plans to Tower Hamlets Council for consideration. The plans incorrectly presume that the site is no longer viable as a working foundry and aim to turn this iconic manufacturing site into a boutique hotel. In order for Raycliff to proceed, Tower Hamlets Council must grant change of use from foundry to hotel; a process that involves establishing the ‘optimum viable use’ for the site.

In response to this Re-Form Heritage and Factum Foundation have produced ‘Saved By The Bell’ a comprehensive report which demonstrates that the ‘optimum viable use’ of the continuation of foundry work is possible and commercially robust (see link opposite). Combining the extensive heritage regeneration experience of Re-Form Heritage and the modern casting and founding expertise of Factum Arte, the proposal offers an alternative that continues to celebrate Whitechapel Bell Foundry’s manufacturing tradition and protects against the site’s inappropriate development as a hotel.

Re-Form Heritage is a registered charity and all donations are gratefully received. You can donate to support the work to save Whitechapel Bell Foundry by completing the form below.

A community-led campaign backing the proposal from Re-Form Heritage and Factum Foundation is now also underway. You can get involved through the following channels:

(This link includes details of how to lodge a planning objection to Tower Hamlets Council)

On social media via @SavetheWbF and #SavetheWbF


The 'Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry' campaign is receiving international support. Read the comments here


If you wish to object the planning proposal, you can do so by contacting Tower Hamletts Council by:

- Email. Please include application reference: PA/19/00008/A1

- Post your objection directly onto the Tower Hamletts Planning Portal by following this link to Planning and entering the application reference PA/19/00008/A1

- Send a letter to: Town Planning, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG


Gift Aid Declaration

Please check the box if you are a UK taxpayer and understand that if you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations it is your responsibility to pay any difference.

Please notify us if you want to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains.