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Mayor To Enquire About Sale Of Arches
Christian Eede , September 25th, 2018 13:15

London mayor Sadiq Khan's office says he has expressed his concerns about the sale of some 4,500 railway arches housing independent businesses and underground music venues

Image courtesy of Zbigniew Kotkiewicz

Last week, we investigated the recent sale by Network Rail of around 4,500 railway arches to private equity firms Blackstone and Telereal Trillium. Our piece looked specifically at what that move might mean for independent, underground music venues based within those arches.

The writer of that piece, Ed Gillett, has since got in touch with London mayor Sadiq Khan's office to ask if our investigation might trigger some action on the matter. "The Mayor knows how important grassroots music venues are to the capital and is doing all he can to protect and support them," a spokesperson has said in response. "That’s why he has written to Jo Johnson MP to express his concerns about the process of the sale of Network Rail's property portfolio and highlight the risk this poses to small businesses – particularly grassroots music venues, clubs, theatres, and artists' studios.

The spokesperson continues: "He has also asked his Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, to meet with the Guardians of the Arches tenants group, as well as Network Rail and the new owners, to help champion the needs of these businesses."

A campaign group called Guardians Of The Arches has been set up to advocate for tenants in those arches who potentially face a threat to the future of their businesses due to Network Rail's decision to sell up. You can find out more about the campaign group and lend your support here.