Plans to rebrand the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich have been scrapped

Controversial plans to rebrand the Old Royal Naval College have been scrapped, writes Tom Bull, BBC Local Government Correspondent.

Plans to rename the college, which features the recently refurbished Painted Hall, pictured right, sparked opposition last year, with the debate even stretching to the council chamber.

In a letter to stakeholders shared on social media, the foundation behind the college said: “After extensive research and taking all feedback into account we have concluded to continue as the Old Royal Naval College.

“The conversations were not simply about our name but about the shared passion and ambition for the Old Royal Naval College. You have helped us shape our plans.”

The announcement delighted opposition councillors who last year attempted to garner the backing of the council in pressing for the rebrand to be abandoned.

At the time, Conservative councillors said the current name “accurately reflects the history of the current buildings on the site and any move away from that would be inauthentic”.

Tory leader Matt Hartley responded on social media calling last week’s announcement “welcome news”.

The Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College was established in 1997 to take over the running of the historic 17th century Greenwich buildings created by Sir Christopher Wren.

After a two-year conservation project funded by the National Lottery, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College will be opened again in March.

The £8.5 million project, supported by a £3.1 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, reversed years of decay and conserved the Painted Hall for generations to come.

In the last couple of years the observation deck has given over 80,000 visitors the opportunity to see the progress as it became one of the largest open-access projects in Europe.

The Conservatives motion last year was amended and passed by the ruling group.

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