A Sheffield recording studio is being forced out of its premises by a regional development agency that has no plans to redevelop the building.
Mark Cartawick has run Adrenalin Studios in the city’s Cultural Industries Quarter for 21 years but has been in dispute with the agency, Yorkshire Forward, over the future use of the building for five years. The agency took him to court this year and, after being offered compensation and to avoid further legal costs, Mr Cartawick agreed to move out on Wednesday.
But the closure will have a knock-on effect for the students, film companies, musicians and producers the studio has worked with, Mr Cartawick said.
“By tomorrow a truck will be full of equipment and the rest will be in a garage. That’s what is going to happen and it’s going to happen to a lot of other businesses. I have been here 21 years and I have passed on work to other film makers and recording studios,” he said.
He spent yesterday gathering the miles of cabling that line the walls of the first-floor workspace but remains reluctant to leave.
“If we can continue to trade and find a place, we can continue without students and to pass on work to other businesses,” he said. “But to be out by Wednesday and for all of this to be lost is insanity. It does not make any sense that a regional development agency would do this.”
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and a Sheffield MP, has intervened on Mr Cartawick’s behalf but the agency has stuck to its guns.
Tom Riordan, Yorkshire Forward’s then chief executive, told Mr Clegg in March the site had “significant redevelopment potential” but there were no plans to act just yet.
“Whilst our overriding aim is for the property to be redeveloped, for which we will need vacant possession of Mr Cartawick’s unit, the timetable has been affected by the recession and there are no immediate plans,” he wrote.
“Our intention is not to have a detrimental effect on a tenant’s business but we have to consider the public cost of maintaining the building for one remaining tenant who doesn’t pay rent and also the health and safety risks associated with occupation.”
Mr Cartawick has not paid his rent since at least 2005 when the building was sold to Sheffield Hallam University by the City Council. He said it was in protest to the sale as he had tabled his own offer to buy the building. The building was then acquired a year later by Yorkshire Forward, which tried to increase the rent.
Mr Cartawick said: “No one in their right mind would pay rent to a company, who, on immediate possession proceeded to board up the building, surround it with razor wire and spiked railing, wall off fire escapes, weld up doors, create a rat infestation and cut the mains gas off.”
David Custance, assistant director property at Yorkshire Forward, said the building was costing money to maintain.
“We think we have about £50,000 to spend on the building this year and if he were to stay in the building it would cost another £34,000 a year in health and safety and the security of the building,” he said.
Mr Cartawick had received compensation to assist in his move, he said, and they agency had “bent over backwards to assist him in every way we can.”
Mr Custance said the agency plans to sell the building when the property market picks up.