Note on status of campaign to save Marconi Hall Street factory
There is very good news in the ongoing campaign to get a sustainable and viable presentation of Marconi Heritage content in the original Marconi factory in Hall Street in Chelmsford. As the first wireless factory in the world it is of international significance and can therefore justify support as a site of special heritage interest. Many of you will be aware of the recent considerable media interest in this initiative.
Although the whole building has been subject to a successful planning application for residential development negotiations with the owners are underway with a view to acquiring the ground floor for the creation of a community/heritage asset, and the Marconi Heritage Group is working with the Moulsham and Central Chelmsford Community Trust to get this underway and to raise finance for this opportunity. We are convinced that a successful application can be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund but we have to find matching funding and initially pay the costs to set up a trust body to carry out the necessary work - the full amount required for purchase and fitting-out is of the order of £1.5 million. To start us off we need a fighting fund of a few thousand, and then go after substantial contributions to the full amount.
The Marconi Heritage Group is therefore planning on launching both national and worldwide appeals for support, as from the earliest days the Marconi companies traded in an international market, and setting up an online crowd-funding site to collect donations. We are a currently a small group and will need additional help with the back-office work in running the appeals and the trust, so both those local boots-on-the-ground and those able to use the internet are invited to contact us through our website <www.marconiheritage.org> or by personal means to give us an idea of what support we can get.
With your help we can be confident of gaining a facility to ensure the deserved and continued recognition of the work of our founder coupled with that of the many thousands who served in the companies as researchers, skilled tradesmen, professional engineers and operators, which laid the foundations of the modern world.