LANCASTER City Council has withdrawn support for the company that runs the Storey Creative Industries Centre and closed the Visitor Information Centre inside the building.
The council had initially decided to take over the running of the building, but this was overturned by councillors on Wednesday after the decision was “called in”.
In a statement, the city council said: “Lancaster City Council has withdrawn support for the company which runs the city’s Storey Institute following very recent developments in the company’s operations and its financial position.
“The building is currently leased to the Storey Creative Industries Centre Ltd, a private company responsible for the tenancies and management of the building.
“On Wednesday (July 18) councillors voted to withdraw support from the company and, should the company cease trading, seek forfeiture of the lease the company holds.”
Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The Storey Institute is an important building and a key gateway for this area of Lancaster, which will become increasingly important as proposals for the future use of the castle come forward.
“The council sympathises with the building’s tenants and the over 100 people who work in the Storey, but it has become increasingly clear that there are fundamental issues with the operations and finances of SCIC Ltd.
“Whilst the council has supported the development of the building for creative industries, the council has a duty to protect the interests of council taxpayers.
“That’s why I supported the proposition put forward to Council that we should withdraw our support for the company and seek a new way forward.”
Speaking on behalf of the Storey’sresidents, Michael Gibson, director of Fat Media said: “Councillors said they wanted to help tenants to find a future. This sadly wasn’t true.
“Today the City Council closed its own Tourist Information Centre that was located in the building and moved it to another council building. They have clear information that presumably jeopardises the future of their tenancy but aren’t willing to share that with tenants and their staff.”
More on this story to follow.
Have you been affected by the closure? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITORS NOTE: It’s been pointed out to us that the Storey building today remains open. Thanks to those who have commented for highlighting this inaccuracy.