Back in March 2018, we worked with the East End Trades Guild to publish research showing that rent increases of 200 – 300% are forcing small businesses based in railway arches in East London out of the capital.

This work was initially covered in The Guardian. Since then, we have helped found Guardians of the Arches, a tenants’ group fighting to protect their livelihoods under the threat of the Network Rail arches sell-off. Over this summer, we have worked together to put the arches sell-off on the front pages, and campaign for a fair deal for the arches’ tenants.

As the Guardians of the Arches group launched their campaign, their work was covered in The Mirror, Sky News, BBC News, ITV News, BBC 5 Live and The Guardian.

Under the arches Network Rail is spoiling dreams of growth (The Times, 11 June 2018)

Guardians of the Arches spoke in Parliament in June 2018 to launch their #SaveOurArches campaign, covered by The Big Issue and Hackney Gazette.

Throughout July the campaign continued to gather steam, with coverage in The Evening Standard, BBC Radio London, and The Guardian.

Death under the arches: the businesses at risk due to rail sell-off (Guardian video, 9 July 2018)

In August, Guardians of the Arches released a list of 13 proposals for the future of the arches.

Selling off rail aches will be a body blow to small businesses — Rohan Silva (The Evening Standard, 2 August 2018)

In August we released research showing that railway arch businesses contribute £725 million to the UK economy. This work was covered in The Evening Standard, The Independent, City AM, and The Big Issue. Our Director of Communications, Will Brett, wrote for the Guardian about the risks to small business of the arches sell-off.

Arches firms back case with £725m argument (The Times, 6 August 2018)

Strivers and risk-takers are being betrayed — Rachel Sylvester (The Times, 13 August 2018)

Network Rail sale of arches property angers tenants (Financial Times, 10 August 2018)

This September, Network Rail announced that it had found a buyer for its portfolio of railway arches: Blackstone and Telereal Trillium. This news was covered across mainstream newspapers, including The Independent and The Evening Standard, with Guardians of the Arches member Ben MacKinnon writing an op-ed for The Guardian.

Blackstone in £1.5bn deal for UK’s Victorian railway arches (Financial Times front page, 10 September 2018)

Private equity sets up shop underneath the arches in London — Jonathan Derbyshire (Financial Times, 14 September 2018)

We are continuing to work with the Guardians of the Arches group to ensure small businesses thrive. And concern for the future of the railway arches continues, with coverage in The Quietus arguing for the significance of the arches to the UK’s cultural sector, as well as in The Big Issue North and the BBC.

Messy, creative, unconventional workspaces (Politics Live, 5 October 2018)