The Architectural Heritage Fund supported the Grade II* listed historic Taylor’s Bellfoundry in Loughborough with a Project Viability Grant in 2016/17, which formed part of a package of grant aid to enable the Trust to come up with viable plans for the future. Development funding of £298,600 has now been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust progress these plans. Congratulations to the Trust! This is the first phase in a bid for £3.7 million from the HLF’s Heritage Enterprise Fund.
Taylor’s is the last bellfoundry in Britain, an industry that created and still makes and repairs bells for thousands of buildings around the world. At least 20 million people in Britain and hundreds of millions worldwide will hear a Taylor bell every day. However, the purpose-built Victorian bellfoundry is on the Historic England At Risk Register and needs urgent repairs, careful management and some new enterprise to ensure this exceptional place is saved and its special craftsmanship passed on to future generations.
The aim is to restore the buildings, enhance the commercial operation, attract more visitors and increase awareness and understanding of the importance of Taylor’s. There will be a wide range of opportunities for people to be involved with the project at the bell foundry, including traditional craft workshops, volunteering, arts and cultural events.
If you would like to support the project please follow their Facebook page or Twitter feed Twitter: @Lborobelltrust Facebook: facebook.com/lborobelltrust
(The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered with the Charity Commission in 2016. It was set up by a number of the John Taylor’s & Co directors to safeguard the future of bell making at the site in Loughborough. The unique collection of buildings, equipment, patterns, machinery and archives from the bell foundry have been transferred into the charitable trust to ensure their long-term protection for the nation.)