Businesses in the railway arches in Brixton and Herne Hill were told today by landlords The Arch Company that a support package put in place in March is to be extended. Businesses that still cannot open will have their rent waved.
Businesses that are not allowed to reopen under the government’s lockdown guidelines, such as gyms, bars and hair salons, will benefit from rent-free arrangements until they are allowed to reopen. The rent-free period applies from 24 June.
Independent small businesses that are able to reopen but remain severely affected by the pandemic will receive a month rent-free and then have the option to draw down deposit funds to cover half the rent due in August and September, or to defer the payments to June 2021.
A spokesperson said: “The package announced today extends the support The Arch Company offered to tenants in March, which was based on a three-month rent-free period and has helped more than 40 in Brixton and Herne Hill.
Adam Dakin managing director of The Arch Company said: “Many of our businesses had to stop trading altogether at the end of March. A number are now opening up, with more to follow, but many clearly won’t be trading normally for some time and still require some support with rent. Our priority is to ensure our diverse and independent tenant base survives the crisis.”
Tenants who have not yet applied for support through the scheme are encouraged to do so at the company’s dedicated webpage: www.thearchco.com/.
The Arch Company took over the freeholds from Network Rail when it sold off its properties.
When Network Rail announced renovation and closure of the arches for maintenance, this went along with rent hikes, and closures of existing businesses which led to a Save the Arches Campaign.
Businesses in the Arches in Brixton Station Road and Atlantic Road have been hit financially more than once. You can see the background to the story on the blog here.
The renovations to the arches severely overran meaning businesses were out of their premises for a long time. Then just when the traders were returning, structural problems were identified with the platform canopy which meant scaffolding obscured the businesses.