The Storey is at the 11th hour, and as meetings are taking place largely without tenant involvement as they have done throughout this sorry saga, we wanted the opportunity to give our view. Let’s explain what’s at stake regarding tenants whose businesses and lives are being considered.
Firstly, over 90 people’s jobs and their livelihoods are at stake. This comes from 14 businesses, all successful and profitable, and contributing collectively over £1 million in taxes personal and business this year to the local and national pot.
And who are these businesses? There’s the Lancashire Creative Business of the Year, serving 100 companies in the district and over 500 in the UK and overseas with 42 employees; a renowned training software company serving the NHS, police forces and leading companies across the UK; one of the UK’s top 10 design agencies in the RAR Awards; an internationally renowned writer of comics and graphic novels, one of which was turned into a major Hollywood movie; an incredibly innovative company that’s attracting worldwide interest and investment from venture capital firms; Lancaster’s second highest rated restaurant on Tripadvisor; and two leading video production companies working with clients across the UK.
They all employ local people from Morecambe, Heysham, Lancaster and the rest of the district in highly skilled new industries that this area desperately needs. (There are also weddings, conferences and events booked and paid for in this building over the summer bringing people from afar to our city).
Destroy this and you help destroy the reputation of the building, the City Council and Lancaster as a place to do business. You can do something to stop this.
In our view, we all need the opportunity that we’ve not been given before to plan the way ahead for our businesses, our employees and the future of this great building.
Here are our five key points:
1. The Storey Creative Industries Centre Ltd knows the game is up, and needs to transfer the headlease to the City Council as agreed by councillor’s yesterday.
2. Once completed, SCIC Ltd should be wound up as a company.
3. The City Council should meet with tenants to plan a way forward. We’ve got loads of ideas to make the building break even, not in the future but right now. Talk to us!
4. We’ve only just received invoices for this month, and don’t know who to pay them to. Make these decisions, and we’ll immediately pay our rent and service charge to whoever, whenever and to a level agreed to help keep the building operational.
5. Then let’s plan a way forward for the building using the talent on offer here and across this city to build a self-sustainable future.
We’ve worked hard to create jobs and investment in the Lancaster district. Don’t abandon us now. Let’s work together to create a vibrant and viable future for all these businesses and the Storey.
For and on behalf of the tenants and their 90 plus staff
For more information check out our company websites to learn more about who we are and what we do:
Developing high-return software for the learning and development industry.
• Andy Diggle
New York Times bestselling comic-book writer.
Agile digital advertising software developer.
• Fat Media
Award-wining internet marketing, branding and e-commerce solutions.
• Hotfoot Design
Award-wining branding, design for print and web development.
An international music production and education company.
• Morph Films
Video, web design, motion graphics and animation.
• Natural Ranks
Web development, marketing and project management.
• Workshop Media
Event video and video marketing.