Transport for London and tenants welcome customers as part of Arch Day

  • TfL’s commercial estate boasts businesses of all kinds; from garages to restaurants – with more than 93 per cent rented to small businesses
  • As part of the Mayor’s ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign, TfL is encouraging Londoners to rediscover the businesses on their doorstep
  • TfL continues to work with their tenants to help London bounce back following the pandemic
  • Londoners are being encouraged to support the local businesses in railway arches and #loveyourlocalarches on Arch Day on 3 July.

The scheme, supported by The Arch Co, Network Rail and TfL, highlights the services, products and activities across the country that can be found under these often forgotten Victorian railway arches, as well as encouraging local people to shop with great local businesses.

To celebrate this, London’s Transport Commissioner, Andy Byford, visited businesses located in arches managed by TfL in Haggerston in east London to discuss their experiences during the pandemic and recognise them for their commitment to the local community as part of TfL’s Love your Local Arches Awards.

TfL owns and manages more than 800 arches across London, with more than 93 per cent of TfL’s tenants being small and medium businesses, showing the importance of the vital contribution TfL have and will continue to have in helping London recover. With restrictions keeping many Londoners at home over the past year, many people have rediscovered their local areas, leading to TfL’s commercial tenants becoming more intrinsically linked to those around them by providing essential services to their communities. As the recovery builds, new businesses have also started opening in the arches showing they are the perfect next step for growing new or small businesses.

In what was a challenging year, TfL worked hard to support its tenants by offering significant rent, emotional and practical support for its tenants. TfL aims to work with its tenants as partners, getting to know its tenants better and sharing responsibility for business recovery.

Examples of the businesses in TfL’s railway arches include:

  • Stennah and Hope in Hoxton – an organic candle and fragrance company, owned by former music producer Boyowa, who have worked to provide training for young people during the lockdown, helping to create new job opportunities.
  • My Scooters and Motorcycles in Putney, who offer customers a sense of la dolce vita with a scooter repair service allowing customers to drive off on their Vespas and Lambrettas to get around town. They also stock a range of electric mopeds to help encourage people to get around town in a greener way.
  • L’Artista in Golders Green, who have been a favourite in the area since 1985 and adapted their business model to keep providing authentic Italian food to their faithful north west London customers.

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “London is a great and vibrant city which is reflected in the many businesses across our 800 arches and across the estate more widely. The way many of our tenants have adapted their way of working to continue to provide great options to their communities shows how important they are to London’s recovery. We want to see Londoners discover a new favourite place or come back to the places they know and may not have visited for a long time to help these businesses keep running for many years to come.”

Jo Fisher, Senior Property Manager, at TfL, said: “We are delighted to celebrate with our tenants on Arch Day and recognise the fantastic work they do. Our tenants across London have done an amazing job in supporting the city and their local communities during the pandemic and it has been a privilege to hear their stories first-hand. We know we are only successful if our tenants are successful, and we want to do all we can to help them recover and thrive by working with them as partners.”

Boyowa, Founder of Stennah and Hope in Hoxton, said: “Arch Day is such a fantastic way of celebrating the diverse and vibrant communities that exist in London arches, as it gives acknowledgement of their existence and confidence to the businesses for what lies ahead. Let’s face it, we all need a little help now.

“During the last year we have supported our local community and its young people and it’s great to be recognised by TfL for this.”

Across its estate, TfL continues to invest in restoring its commercial assets to support its existing tenants as well as attract new businesses. In recent weeks TfL has begun work on the refurbishment of the arches in Kingsland as they look to create a vibrant retail destination in the heart east London. The investment in arches will provide new opportunities for TfL’s tenants and London’s communities

For more on TfL’s arch estate please visit: tfl.gov.uk/arches

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