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The India Club, London

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has agreed with Historic England’s advice not to list 143-145 Strand, home of the India Club restaurant and bar.

Commenting on the decision, Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:

“Following careful examination and consideration, we have concluded, regrettably, that the India Club restaurant and bar at 143-145 Strand does not meet the criteria for listing.

“The India Club did not occupy the building until 1964. The club was in fact established at 41 Craven Street, which is already listed at Grade II, and has much stronger links to the historic campaign for Indian independence.

“The Craven Street property was home to the private members’ club between 1951 and 1964, which was set up as a non-political extension of the India League - a key organisation in the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. Following the Indian Independence Act of 1947 the organisation went on to promote good relations between the two countries.

“The club moved to the Hotel Strand Continental at 143-145 Strand in 1964, meaning the building lacks a direct connection with the Indian independence movement, having been established many years after independence was achieved. By the time the club moved to the Strand, it was one of a great number of organisations in existence in the 1960s working to promote British-Indian relations, and supporting the Indian diaspora.

“In preparing our advice we also considered the building’s architectural interest. The exterior is typical for the period and the ground floor shop fronts have been heavily altered. Inside, the bar and restaurant on the first floor, which were installed in 1964, are lacking notable historic features.

“We appreciate the applicant’s desire to save the hotel and club, and the public’s affection for the restaurant and its history, but listing is not designed to preserve a particular use for a building. We are grateful that research for this case has brought to our attention new evidence that has enabled us to enhance the information we hold on two buildings on the National Heritage List for England: 41 Craven Street in Westminster and the Indian YMCA in Fitzrovia.”

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