Workshop Media, and all the residents at the Storey Creative Industries Centre are going from strength to strength despite the reported cash crisis at the Storey CIC. The news report featured in the Lancaster Guardian yesterday (Thursday 15th July 2012), broke the news that many connected to the creative industries in the region were aware of. The Storey CIC has suffered from the cut in public funding last year and has had to seek the support of Lancaster City Council to ensure its continued existence.
What’s Been Happening at the Storey Creative Industries Centre?
Up until the end of February 2012 we have heard rumblings and rumours that the Storey CIC was struggling financially and was unable to meet the cost of its overheads. There was an agreed increase in service charges in May 2011 that caused some residents to leave.
At the end of February 2012 we received notification from Tom Clark, the Chief Executive of the Storey CIC that a substantial increase to our service charges was required to ensure the building could meet its commitments. This service charge increase was back dated over several years amounting to a large invoice that was requested to be paid within six months.
The residents met and drafted a letter rejecting the invoice and requesting further information. After receiving some financial details from the Storey CIC that showed the level of financial difficulty, a working group of residents and members of the Storey CIC Board of Directors was set up to discuss a way forward.
Why Did The Storey CIC Residents Reject The Service Charge Increase?
All the residents of the Storey are businesses that are operating in a difficult economic time. We are not unreasonable people, if we were made aware of the problem earlier a solution could have been reached and the increases could have been planned for. That the invoice came out of the blue, not only surprised everyone but also, if enacted upon, would have meant a significant financial blow to most of the residents over a short space of time.
Business As Usual At The Storey Creative Industries Centre
Workshop Media would like to make it clear that the circumstances that are affecting the Storey CIC in no way affects its future, its ability to operate and its valued clients. The same, we are sure, applies to the other residents.
The residents met with Chair of the Board Simon Ryder, Chief Executive Tom Clark and Board Member Jenny Rutter yesterday (Thursday 14th June 2012) to discuss the situation around the Lancaster Guardian article and how the building would continue in the future. They explained that, although talks are still ongoing, the scenario that the Storey CIC Board and Lancaster City Council are aiming for was that the Storey would continue in some form