25th Oct, 2016

Businesses plead for Wychavon talks

Rob George 20th Jul, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

FRUSTRATED Vale businesses have accused council chiefs of dealing with them ‘at arms length’ following the collapse of JVCE Academy.

The remaining businesses at the old Evesham Leisure Centre hit out at Wychavon District Council following the news JVCE Academy was placed into administration.

JVCE called in administrators on June 29 and other businesses based at the Davies Road site were told they had to leave within two weeks, although this has now been extended until the end of this month.

In a statement to the Observer, the owners of the remaining businesses on the site said it appeared the council did not wish to communicate with the tenants.

“We would have expected them (Wychavon) to take a medium term view and offer some assurances that nothing would change in the immediate future and the interests of the local businesses would be secured for a reasonable amount of time,” they said.

“The tenants are all happy to continue paying rent directly to the council, ensuring continuity.

“The council have an opportunity to do something good here, the building needs further development but it has already proven it can provide superb facilities for both start up companies and small businesses that are growing and employing local people.

“We are local people running small local businesses and employing local people, surely this is something the council should care about?.

Many of the tenants provide training services and will hold courses over the next few months but face the prospect of having to cancel the sessions and dish out refunds.

“We would welcome the opportunity to speak and meet directly with the council to find a way forward which is agreeable to all concerned. That is all we ask,” they added.

“In the meantime we would like to let all customers both old and new know we are all very much open for business.”

Vic Allison, deputy managing director of Wychavon District Council, said: “We are currently talking to a number of organisations about potentially taking on the site.

“We are optimistic a deal can be done which could mean existing business are able to continue operating from the site, however there is no guarantee at this stage.

“In the meantime, we continue to do all we can to support the businesses including agreeing to extend the deadline by which they need to leave the property, at considerable cost to the council.

“We have also offered support to those wanting to relocate to other premises.

“We cannot afford to keep the building open indefinitely though, even with the existing income from the businesses that operate there, as it would cost about £4,000 a month and would not be a responsible use of public money, particularly at a time when we have to find significant savings.”