Instead, he’ll be continuing his search for a new home for the shop. For years the Piece Hall was going to be regenerated thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fun grant. While it was granted, the plans for what exactly was to be done with it changed constantly, leaving Simon and the other 18 retailers in the centre in a constant state of flux. They couldn’t plan or settle, because they could be moved out at any time. Eventually word came down of a phased build, where the regeneration would be done working around the retailers to minimise disruption.
Still, nothing happened, and finally, the retailers were told by the latest project head that the plan had changed and they were going be paid to leave the premises and be relocated inside Halifax. The payout was one year’s rent plus £450 plus £450 per year they’d been on site, plus half a year’s rent for moving costs.
There would be no help with relocation but the retailers were assured there would be no difficulty finding somewhere in Halifax. This hasn’t been the case. The cheapest unit Simon could find was on the outskirts of Halifax and the rent was three times what he’d been paying as well as Business Rates that previously he’d been exempt from. To make matters worse, the retailers were told they would have to leave by mid-January but wouldn’t get their payout until November without paying the rent upfront through to January 2014.
Simon and the other retailers have extremely limited options and are desperate for any help they can get. If you live in the region and know of any shop space that may work for him, please get in touch through his Facebook page. The link is below. Likewise, the retailers are running a twitter campaign through the hashtag #supportPHretailers. Check that for further updates.
Legacy Comics Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Legacycomicsuk