I went straight on to from my meeting with Haringey Council’s Chief Exec to a meeting between the management, building owners and tenants of Chocolate Factory 1. There is a whole rumpus over the rent reviews on both Chocolate Factory 1 and 2 – but 2 decided not to come to the meeting arranged by Manoj (Collage Arts – the Management) as they are being represented by a surveyor who is fighting against the hike in rents and service charges. But the tenants of 1 were at the meeting and Manoj had invited me and David Lammy – as Minister of Culture and Arts it would have been useful if he had come, but he didn’t. The Chocolate Factory is our Cultural Quarter and the willingness of our artists to move into this industrial area and help revive it has so helped the area. So – gave them some advice on the short and long term issues, but most of all advised them to get detailed specialist advice over the possible future leases.
It was very difficult to know whether what was on offer was fair or not – but I am concerned that they are all individuals seemingly frightened that if they make a fuss or object, they will lose their space altogether. They wanted to know about funding streams and I will try and find out what they might bid for – but David Lammy is, as I say, the Minster for Culture and Arts and so I will try and get an appointment to see him – after all, charity begins at home!