Social Centre under Threat

Article published: Saturday, January 19th 2008

The Basement Social Centre is under threat after being served an immediate eviction notice. The city centre space was seriously damaged after a fi re in the next door building last summer. The Landlord now claims the tenancy agreement is null and void after internal walls were removed during clean-up operation. The social center is still out of action after eight months following the fire. As refurbishment was near completion the collective, along with several other small businesses located in the building, received letters informing them that they could not return. Solicitors acting on behalf of the Basement collective say that the landlords actions are illegal.

The Basement collective have vowed to fight the eviction. One member of the collective said When we started to lease the space 3 years ago we got it at a good rate. It was a real mess full of asbestos and other waste, we totally sorted it out and turned it into a rentable space. We think this is a an attempt to get higher rents from another tenant but we are not going to give it up now. The landlord has so far refused to comment.

Independent retailers and social spaces are at risk across Manchester. Small retailers in Affleck’s Palace are under threat from landlords Bruntwood – shop owners have been informed they will be evicted in two weeks time. Elsewhere the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender center on Sidney Street is under threat and the council are considering cutting funding to Salford Womens Centre.

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