A popular attraction in Hepworth is not about to shut its doors.
The owners of the Carding Shed cafe, car restorers and antique centre have said reports of their imminent demise should not be taken seriously.
But proprietors Ian and Nicola Kellett have revealed that they may be forced to move their business – including a classic car collection – to new premises if their lease is not renewed next year.
The couple decided to speak out following concern from customers over rumours that the retro-themed Carding Shed, based in the former Dobroyd Mills, was soon to close.
It prompted the Kelletts to issue a statement on Facebook reassuring customers that they were not only staying open but “working on plans for the long-term future of the business.”
Mr Kellett wanted to reassure customers and said: “There are certain elements of truth to the rumours in that our lease may not be renewed. The owners are trying to get development on the site. They would like to flatten the place.
“We certainly will not be shutting down but we may be relocating. That would be a big wrench. There are lots of areas we are looking at as we would like to stay local.”
The Kelletts employ 55 people in the various elements of the Carding Shed, which opened four years ago. The site includes the Oil Can Cafe, a classic car collection and garage services, the Hepworth Emporium, which sells automobilia books and antiques, and shops selling vintage clothing.
Referring to his staff Mr Kellett said “they are the business” and he stressed he did not want to lose them.
He said the car business was in good shape and added: “The body shop is forward sold for the next two-and-a-half years.
“We have clients from all over the world. And we did that in the face of a recession. We have created a monster but in a good way. We just keep rolling along.”
Mr Kellett said he wanted to put the rumours straight and added: “It’s not malicious. People are being positive but there have been a lot of Chinese whispers. It’s all talk, however.”
The Carding Shed currently offers a programme of live music events, drama, dance nights, a Burns Night celebration, garage tours, and murder mystery nights stretching into summer 2017.
“Presently negotiations are underway with a big act to come back next year,” said Mr Kellett. “We wouldn’t be doing that if we were closing.”