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Future of York’s Bonding Warehouse in doubt
THE future of York’s Bonding Warehouse is in doubt again, after council bosses began looking elsewhere for their new digital media and culture centre.
Officials at City of York Council announced in July that they wanted to create a £1.4 million centre to accommodate creative and digital businesses and said the Bonding Warehouse was their preferred site.
But council leader James Alexander says demand for such space is three times higher than the supply and says alternative sites are now being explored.
Asked whether those were being considered instead of or as well as the Bonding Warehouse, he replied: “Both options open.”
A council spokeswoman would not say yesterday whether the Bonding Warehouse remained the preferred option. A report to the cabinet in July had said the council was in negotiations with the Warehouse’s owner, the York-based developer Grantside.
Local Liberal Democrat leader Carol Runciman last week called on the council to ditch the plans for the Bonding Warehouse, saying last month’s flooding had shown it to be unsuitable.
The council would not say which other sites are being considered, although The Press understands one option is the council’s own land behind Guildhall, which is earmarked for redevelopment.
Coun Alexander told The Press: “The 2011 Labour manifesto committed us to expand the creative industries in York and we believe creating a hub for those industries is one way of fulfilling this objective. The plan will provide space for up to 250 small creative businesses and could include the creation of up to 500 jobs.
“The Bonding Warehouse has always been a building under serious consideration, and is being considered along with other buildings in the city. Demand for such a hub is three times higher than the supply. Whether the Bonding Warehouse scheme is chosen or not, some long-term use needs to be found for this important building. A great deal of flood protection work (tanking) has taken place to prepare the building for future use.”