HELP SAVE THE LAST MAJOR BELLFOUNDRY IN BRITAIN

OUR VISION

Our vision for the Loughborough Bellfoundry to become the local centre for the art of bell making and learning. The sound of our bells can be heard all over the planet and we want to secure this legacy and make sure future generations across every continent can be brought together by the ring of a Loughborough-made bell.

THE
BELLFOUNDRY

Since 1859, the Grade II* Listed Loughborough Bellfoundry, located in the heart of the town, has cast more than 25,000 bells that are hung in over100 countries around the world; from Singapore Cathedral to St Paul’s in London, from St Peter’s in Angola to Trinity Church on Wall Street, and even St Peter’s on Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean.

Those bells are ever-present for hundreds of millions of people; ringing national celebrations, the end of conflict, intimate life moments or simply to help check the time of day.

However in 2009 the bellfoundry came close to being lost forever. As a final lifeline, a small group of individuals bought the business out of administration and saved the bellfoundry at the very last minute. Over the following years they relaunched the business and set up the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust – allowing the manufacturing of the finest sounding bells in the world once again.

Whilst the business is in good fettle, the historic bellfoundry is not. After 150 years of severe wear and tear the site is in a perilous condition and there is a risk that without major investment it could vanish and, with it, its unique crafts, archives and embedded history. Parts of the site are already unsafe and unusable and the Trust is fighting a losing battle to undertake urgently needed repairs.

In 2017, the other major British bellfoundry at Whitechapel closed; sending a shockwave around the world. This has left Loughborough as the last major bellfoundry in Britain and placed its fragile state in stark focus. Without urgent investment in the historic site it is suddenly feasible that both bellfoundries could be lost within a few years of each other – wiping out hundreds of years of history and silencing thousands of bells forever.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust has spent the last few years preparing detailed plans to restore the historic bellfoundry to its former glory and make the site the global heart for the art and craft of bells. The Trust is working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund and hopes to secure final approval for a grant of £3.8m in 2020 to contribute towards a package of £5m+ repairs. However, it needs to raise £1.1m from other sources to secure the Lottery grant and make the plans a reality. We need your urgent support to do this.

OUR
PLAN

  • Repair the iconic Victorian casting hall and workshop where bells are created and brought to life
  • Preserve and expand our vast archive which relates to over 10,000 bells and bell towers around the globe
  • Improve access to the site so that anyone can visit and experience this unique place
  • Overhaul and improve the only bell museum in the country
  • Repair the magical tuning shop where harmonic tuning was invented in the 1890s and the sound that we all recognise and love was created
  • Reinstate the world’s first harmonically tuned Carillon
  • Reengage with young people and learners to preserve our unique skills set

HOW YOU CAN GIVE TO THE ‘SAVING THE LAST MAJOR BELLFOUNDRY’ PROJECT

1. FUNDRAISING

We will be launching our fundraising campaign later this year, but in the interim, there are several ways in which you can support and donate to the project, as set out below. If you do not wish to donate directly, but would like to help us with our fundraising efforts, please contact Ingham Pinnock Associates via email office@inghampinnock.com and they will get in contact with you.

2. HOW TO DONATE

BY POST: Please send a cheque made payable to The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust to the following address: Mr D Potter, Trustee, The Bell Foundry, Freehold Street, Loughborough, LE11 1AR. We would be most grateful if you could clearly state that the funds are for the ‘Saving the last major Bellfoundry in Britain’ project. Please let us know if you would like your donation to be acknowledged. Please do not send any cash through the post.

PAYING DIRECTLY: If you would like to pay directly into the Trust’s bank account please call Ross Ingham, Advisor to the Trust on 07827 240 059.

Please note…
The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust have received a first round pass from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the Trust is currently developing its proposals further for a second round submission in the summer of 2020. As such the funding from the National Lottery is not 100% secured. If the second round bid is not successful, we propose to use all donations to deliver repair works to the foundry buildings.

Please do not hesitate to get back in touch if you require any further information or guidance on how you can support this special place.