A personal letter from The Chairman of The Friends, Mr Marcus Setchell, CVO, FRCS, FRCSEd, FRCOG:
Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page and our Appeal for Donations to Fighting Fund for the Great Hall at Bart’s
I am writing to urge you to help to save the Great Hall, its collections and architecture from Plight, and to help us grasp the Opportunity before itis too late to retain their Glory.
The Glory is known to a privileged few, but hidden from many more. Our aims include conserving the magnificence of James Gibbs’s architecture, the artwork, and archives, making them more accessible, and making improvements to the support services so that these great treasures can be even more enjoyed in safety and comfort.
The Plight is the fact that for many years the North Wing has received barely adequate maintenance, and continues to be a burden to an already over-pressed National Health Service. Without change in management and funding the glory will fade away, and the Grade I listed North Wing become a building-at-risk.
The Opportunities to enhance the glories have never been more timely with the approach of the 900 Anniversary of the foundation of Bart’s, and a widely held agreement on the way forward, i.e. creation of a Heritage Trust. The Hopkins architectural plans will provide major improvements: access, lifts, fire safety, cloakrooms, toilets, catering facilities, safer storage and exhibition of archives, art and artifacts, and restoration of the perfect neo-Palladian symmetry of Gibbs’s masterpiece are all included. The heritage site will also embrace the Gatehouse, Barts the Less church and the Victorian Hardwick buildings.
THE ACTION: The Friends are now committed to submit the Hopkins Plans to the City Planning Authority before the end of December. We always knew that this would be an expensive but essential process in order to progress. We need at least £100,000 to achieve this. We already have a commitment of £50,000 from an event being held next year, but at least £15,000 is needed now to cover the immediate Application costs. A large number of small and medium donations will help; and a moderate number of large donations will make this happen quicker.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE your friends to become FRIENDS, and all of YOU & US to be generous. We know that once the Planning Application is approved, large donors and Foundations will come forward to support the major works that form the Hopkins Plan. The details of these plans and our reasons for this campaign can be found in greater detail on our new website: www.bartsgreathall.com.
With best wishes
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