Caroe Architecture Ltd appointed to lead the design team

We are delighted that award-winning Caroe Architecture Ltd has been appointed to lead the design team for the project.

Oliver Caroe and Mark Hammond, architects and heads of Cambridge and London-based Caroe Architecture, will be using their team’s vast heritage experience working on projects including St Paul’s Cathedral and Kensington Palace in London, to spearhead the conservation plans for the much-needed development of the Loughborough Bellfoundry.

Caroe Architecture Ltd will play a major part in the fight to save the bellfoundry; designing proposals as part of the development stage in the project to restore the site to its former glory and ensure it is able to continue its legacy for years to come.

Oliver is one of the country’s most well-known conservation architects; with over 20-years’ specialist experience in conservation and sustainability of existing and historic buildings. He has particular expertise in the repairing of church buildings, from the medieval through to the Victorian. Since 2012, he has been the Surveyor of the Fabric to St Paul’s Cathedral – responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the cathedral and its buildings.

Speaking about his appointment on the project, Oliver said: “The project is at a key stage of the mission to restore and sustain the bellfoundry, and we will relish the conservation challenge. It’s also about the creative journey to sustain all that is marvellous about the historic foundry, as well as fashioning new life and access to the craft for people who want to learn and get involved.

“We would like, at the end of the project, for people to exclaim ‘this is Taylors as we have always known it, but better’, and for visitors to Loughborough to want to return and spread the word. The vision for the plans will be a blend of respect to the history and heritage of the foundry and the bell founding craft, with a celebration of the potential opportunities for new people.”

Andrew Wilby, trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, commented: “This incredibly important project needs an experienced and innovative architect at the helm. Oliver, Mark and their team are one of the best in the industry and their vision and proposal for the works – in terms of restoration, a sustainable plan for the future and attracting visitors through the doors – are very much aligned with the Trust’s, which is why Caroe Architecture Ltd have been selected.

“During what we call the development stage of the project, is our time to work with the Caroe team and other partners to finalise our proposals with the hope of securing the essential additional funding. Without this, the bellfoundry buildings will continue to deteriorate and could lead to the closure of the Loughborough Bellfoundry for good, so we’re extremely grateful to begin undertaking the necessary work and in turn, help secure the future of bell founding in the UK.”

Education and skills will play a major part too, with the project ensuring that the unique craft-skills that go into bell founding are preserved, by training future craftspeople and enabling public access to the world’s most significant archive of bell material.