The Storey Institute in Lancaster will continue operating as a creative industries centre.
This decision was made Full Council when it met this week (12th September).
This decision follows a meeting of Council in July when a decision was taken to withdraw support for the Storey Creative Industries Centre Ltd, the company that managed the building, to forfeit the head lease from SCIC in the event that it had ceased trading, and also request a report back on all future options for the building.
Since SCIC ceased trading on 15th August, the sub tenants have taken the necessary steps to ensure the safe running of the building for a temporary period.
Earlier this month, a meeting of SCIC’s creditors took place and it is understood a liquidator has now been appointed.
Councillors agreed that subject to the outcome of the liquidation process for SCIC and assuming that the headlease be forfeit, or otherwise terminated, their preferred direction for the Storey Institute is to seek to continue operating as a Creative Industries Centre, without excluding other options, in order to make the building sustainable. It was also agreed that the council works productively with the tenants and other stakeholders, to achieve these ends.
Coun Eileen Blamire, Leader of the Council, said: "It is very pleasing that the council has given its wholehearted support for the vision for the Storey Creative Industries Centre and will work with its tenants and other stakeholders to explore ways in which the building can be run to help build a strong and sustainable operation.
"The aim should now be to secure a brighter future for the Storey and its tenants so it can continue to provide a centre of expertise and knowledge hub for the creative industries sector."
Tennants at the Storey have welcomed the decision.
"There's still a long way to go but this is a good first step," one told virtual-lancaster. "We're still waiting for the Council to get the lease back - which could take weeks - and in the meantime we're still having to run the place ourselves. Baby steps..."
virtual-lancaster has also learnt the Council hopes to move Tourist Information - currently based in Lancaster's Reference Library on New Street - back into the Storey.
"When it can be guaranteed that the Storey Institute doors will remain open, it is our intention that the Lancaster Visitor Information Centre will return to the building," a Council spokesperson told virtual-lancaster. "This will be once the headlease is back with the council."