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City Council withdraw Lancaster’s Covered Yard from sale

Lancaster’s Covered Yard will not be sold off after the council decided to take the property off the market.

The site on King Street had been put up for sale following a review of council assets, as a way of responding to the financial challenges faced by local government.

But now, Lancaster City Council, despite interest from a prospective buyer, will keep hold of ownership of the workshop unit to ensure it remains available to support local enterprises.

The property, a former stables, is a unique format of four small workshop units occupied by craft enterprises with a retail element to their business.

In addition, there is one lock up shop fronting King Street, occupied by a tattooist and gallery.

Following an approach from a prospective buyer, the council’s cabinet considered the sale at its meeting on Tuesday (February 20).

After careful consideration, councillors decided not to go ahead and instead keep the property within the council’s portfolio of assets.

Councillor Phillip Black, leader of Lancaster City Council, explained: “The Covered Yard had initially been considered to have the potential to raise a capital receipt for the council and while it’s right that we look for areas where we might raise additional funds, after considering the sale, Cabinet agreed that this is not one of them.

“Our definition of ‘value’ always has to be broader than a simple consideration of the financial bottom line. One of the council’s newly agreed priorities is Community Wealth Building, the whole ethos of which is to use our land, property, finance, and procurement to benefit local communities.

“The Covered Yard provides space for several small independent businesses and is therefore a good example of how the council can contribute to local enterprises through the use of its property.”

Current units at the site include a florist, a tattoo parlour, a furniture upholstery shop, and a textiles store.

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