TRADERS at the Tribe site in Bitts Park are set to fight for their future after the operating company collapsed - leaving them 'in limbo'.

Barely a year after opening, the Tribe Community Interest Company (CIC) which ran the site entered voluntary liquidation and has now ceased trading.

Representatives from the businesses that remain on site, such as ice cream shop Pokey Parlour, Beirut Bites, and The Tasty Greek, met with Carlisle City Council on Monday, September 26, to discuss what’s going on.

David Lyttle from Pokey Parlour described the traders' current precarious situation. He said: “We have just spoken to the council, and they’re trying to help us out, even with the likes of bin collections.

“But everything needs to go through their legal team. The council owns the ground and the units that we are in, and we asked them if they could take it over.

“It’s either going to be a yes or no now.

“We are not paying rent to anyone, nobody's paying rent because the company has gone into liquidation - everything belongs to the liquidating company - but no company has contacted us and we're still in limbo.

“We are trying to keep on top of the toilets ourselves just in the meantime.

“If we don't get help right away, we're scared of closing down, if the rubbish doesn’t get taken away, we can't control that.

“The council says they're looking into things, but their hands are tied.

“We'd like to get the public behind us.”

A petition is being set up by the traders to try and save the site.

A spokesperson from Carlisle City Council issued the statement: "Tribe Carlisle CIC is not owned by the Council and we cannot comment on the affairs of the company."

Gareth Ellis, deputy leader of Carlisle City council, said: “We're just trying to find somebody else to manage the site.

“We'll try and keep the place open, I know structurally the costs of the place is quite high because they're running the site off diesel generators.

“We want to try and help as much as we can.”

Tribe opened in August 2021 and has been the birthplace of a number of celebrated small businesses.

Built from shipping containers, the courtyard aimed to showcase a range of local companies and fuse 'concepts of the modern street market and independent retail'.

The former operator, Joe Gardham, was contracted to run the site by Carlisle City Council upon its opening.

The venue will now have to find a new operator if the site is to continue to run.

Upon the announcement of the voluntary liquidation last week, a spokesperson from the organisation had said: "Tribe is proud of everything the site has achieved within the past year."

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