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Storey Centre tenants soldier on

John Freeman
Tenants in the troubled Storey Creative Industries Centre have joined forces to try and keep it going, after the company responsible for managing the creative industries hub were placed into the hands of liquidators earlier this week.

virtual-lancaster understands that some tenants have clubbed together to re-employ the cleaner and caretaker; extended insurance cover to include the public areas; and are undertaking fire safety training - all with the aim of keeping the building open until the liquidator is formally appointed by a creditors' meeting next month.

The liquidator is Jonanthan Timmis of Leonard Curtis on Church Street.

With the demise of the company, the City Council is now, we understand, prepared to speak with tenants to work toward a solution, after it decided not to further support SCIC Limited at a recent Council meeting, prompting the tourist office to be moved to Lancaster Library and bringing unwanted uncertainty to tenants.

Michael Gibson, director of Fat Media, which is currently based at The Storey told the Lancaster Guardian on behalf of tenants that the wind up of SCIC was wasn’t the best way to proceed,  but was something that tenants had called for.

“SCIC Ltd was insolvent, couldn’t resolve its own financial and management problems and so couldn’t provide a long-term future for the building," he said. "... The obstacles are now out of the way for the council as owners to join with tenants and other interested third parties to and find a successful, sustainable and viable way for the Storey to operate long into the future, which we firmly believe is there.”

Earlier this month, Mr Gibson told virtual-lancaster he still held the City Council responsible for at least part of the problems facing tenants.

"None of this would have happened if they’d managed their leaseholder better and the responsibility to the city to do it," he said.