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Project to save last major bellfoundry which cast bells for St Paul's and Washington National Cathedral

A project to save the UK's last major bellfoundry has moved to the next stage, with the launch of a tender to find contractors for the redevelopment work.

The Loughborough Bellfoundry was built in 1859 and has since ​​cast and sent 25,000 bells to more than 100 countries.

Bells made at the foundry can be found at some of the world's most iconic buildings, including London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, the Washington National Cathedral in the US capital and the National Carillon in Canberra, Australia.

Plans for the comprehensive restoration of the Victorian site are driven by the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, which has commissioned a team led by Caroe Architecture Limited to draw up designs for the project.

The trust is now inviting tenders from main contractors to deliver the project on the Grade II-listed factory buildings – which now house a visitor attraction and museum – with works expected to begin later this year.

It is hoped that the redevelopment will be completed towards the end of 2023.

The programme of works will include reconfiguring the buildings’ archive room, office spaces and workshop facilities, and the creation of a new entrance into the historic site.

The museum will be improved and enhanced by increasing its footprint to incorporate additional exhibition space and room for an administration office.

Chrissie Van Mierlo, museum director at the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, said: “We are incredibly pleased and excited to have issued our invitation to tender on this project.

"The works are going to preserve and protect these historic and important buildings for years to come and provide a wonderful place for people to visit and learn about the highly specialised craftsmanship that the process of bellfounding entails.

“Our vision is for Loughborough Bellfoundry to become the global centre for the art of bell making and learning.

"We have been very fortunate to have benefitted from funding over the years to address the most urgent repair and conservation works required, and we’re thrilled to be in a position to enter the next stage of this project to secure the legacy of the Bellfoundry’s bells for future generations.”

Loughborough  Caroe Architecture  St Paul's  bellfoundry 
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