Opinion: Campaign to preserve Whitechapel Bell Foundry gathers pace

City & East AM Unmesh Desai speaking at the meeting to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Picture: M

City & East AM Unmesh Desai speaking at the meeting to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Picture: MIKE BROOKE - Credit: Mike Brooke

Whitechapel is steeped in a rich and varied history of religious heritage, industry and progressive politics.

Today, the area continues to be nationally regarded as a cradle of artistic innovation and creative talent.

The Bell Foundry is an iconic symbol of Whitechapel's proud heritage, but is currently under the threat of being redeveloped into a themed hotel.

Amongst many others from the local community, I spoke at a recent meeting hosted at the Muslim Centre to argue against these proposals. The Preservation Trust has put forward alternative plans to re-open the Foundry and launch a new apprenticeship scheme as part of this.

This would ensure that the site is preserved for generations to come, whilst continuing to play a positive and valuable role in the East End.


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As Whitechapel continues to undergo change, it is vital that its history is both acknowledged and respected, and that efforts are made to ensure that the area retains its diverse identity and community spirit that helped to provide opportunities to past generations.

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