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We, the save Granary Wharf group are asking you the general public, to help us prevent the closure of the festival market going ahead on the 9th of January 2005, as proposed by British Waterways (a public funded company). For many years, Granary Wharf, set in the historic Dark Arches at the heart of the city, has been an asset to Leeds and offers canal side shopping, eating and entertainment, providing an interesting alternative to the everyday shopping experience of the city centre. Granary Wharf is nationally known for its unique and specialist independent retailers. The Craft Shops are not only fascinating but offer a real alternative with a wide range of specialist ethnic goods from all over the world, where you will find an exciting range of fashions, home furnishings or unique gift ideas. Further, Granary Wharf is a major tourist attraction. We believe that small independently run businesses are essential to the whole Leeds shopping experience, giving people the diversity that they deserve. The owners, British Waterways have recently decided that they don\'t want Granary Wharf any more and intend to close this fascinating attraction down in early January 2005. They say it\'s a financial decision. They acquired granary Wharf around a year ago and have managed the place in an appalling fashion allowing it to slowly run-down. There are rumours that \'the festival market area may become a car park\'. We believe these rumours are well founded and it was never the intention of British Waterways to make a success of Granary Wharf, but to run it down, close it and turn it into a car park in order to save the failing management company of the Leeds canal basin and make some quick money. If their ideas for a car park do not go ahead, we know of no other schemes they have in mind and there are no planning applications lodged with the council for anything at all. Granary Wharf is the main gateway between the Leeds city centre and the new developments on the Leeds canal basin. We fear that the Granary Wharf will decay into a run-down, prostitute and drug ridden hell hole as the red light district is only a couple of minutes walk away. This will destroy any prospect of further developing the waterfront as the flats for sale nearby will not be sold and the area will gain a very poor reputation. We therefore ask you the general public to sign this petition. Not only against the closure of Granary Wharf, but also against any future plans there may be to strip granary Wharf of its character, by replacing the shops with faceless and lifeless parked cars. Further, if any planning application is made to turn Granary Wharf into a car park, we ask that you make an objection to Leeds City council on the grounds of it being detrimental to the character of the city centre. We will inform you by e mail or post when this needs to be done. Only by taking firm and immediate action will we save this fascinating part of our city.


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