Set up as a charity in 1977, the Spitalfields Trust’s philosophy is both simple and wide ranging. It can be summed up in the following points:

  • The Trust saves and repairs buildings that are at risk of demolition or destruction and that are not going to be tackled by other groups or individuals. The Trust is helped by its charitable status, which gives it the power to take on projects that are not necessarily commercial.
  • Often, though not always, buildings that the Trust takes on are not in fashionable locations. The Trust is not afraid to repair and find new uses for buildings blighted by their location.
  • By tackling buildings in overlooked neighbourhoods, the Trust has been very successful in creating new communities.
  • The Trust is extremely un-bureaucratic. Two administrators look after a small but long-standing building team. No fancy offices, expensive cars or state of the art technology means costs are kept to the minimum, so as much money as possible is spent on the building in question.
  • Regular three weekly meetings of the administrators with a dozen or so trustees present: that is how decisions are made, and has been since inception. As the meetings are so regular, the Trust is always able to react quickly to pressing cases.
  • Professional advice is of course sought where absolutely necessary, but never acted upon without question. Projects are all supervised strictly in-house.

Motto: Do not be afraid to go in where others demur. Saving and finding a new use for an historic building is more important than profit.

133 139 mile end E