Flagship venue Unity Works goes into administration

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Events have been cancelled after the community cooperative behind the city’s music and arts venue Unity Works went into administration.

Staff have been made redundant after the collapse of Unity House (Wakefield) Ltd, which will cease its all its operations with immediate affect, it has been announced

Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor has been appointed as administrator of the company, which reopened the venue in 2014 after it stood empty for more than a decade.

Future events have been cancelled but existing business tenants can remain at the site and one member of staff has been retained to manage them.

The Establishment bar, a separate venue which opened at the building in 2016, is run by a different company and is not affected by the administration.

The administrators said in a statement: “Unfortunately, Unity Works has been unable to generate sufficient income and, due to ongoing funding requirements, it has not been possible to restructure the business.

“The board, therefore, made the decision to place the business into administration.

“Its operations have ceased with immediate effect and all events have been cancelled although existing tenants will continue granted use of the building under the terms of their occupation.”

Joint administrator Lee Lockwood added: “Unfortunately, the current operation of the building has proved to be unviable and there was no option but to place the business into administration.

“It is very sad to see the end of this facility in its current format and the loss of these jobs. Our priority is now to find a buyer for the company’s long leasehold interest in the building so that we can recover what we can on behalf of the creditors.”

When the venue reopened in 2014, 400 people had invested in a community share issue to bring the derelict building back into public use.

Unity Hall was first established in 1867 as the Wakefield Co-operative headquarters.

Rob Green, operations director for The Establishment, which hosts comedy nights and live music, said: “It’s really unfortunate what has happened to Unit Works.

“We’d like to stress that we are a separate entity to Unity Works and our trading will carry on as normal.