Discover a hidden world of unusual spaces struggling to survive huge rent hikes and a pandemic.
Underneath our distinctive Victorian railway arches, a diverse range of small businesses form a vital part of an independent commercial ecosystem. In unusual spaces they employ large numbers while boosting the indie business scene, keeping our city interesting. Contributing to both local and national economies, many have been in their locations for years. They are symbols of continuity in a fast changing environment, often offering services not available on the high street.
After this national asset was sold off, they're under threat. Huge rate hikes have have sent some small businesses to the wall. But a quiet revolution aims to level-up this all too common landlord-tenant power dynamic.
An arch business helps Hackney Tours (Simon Cole) survive; the quirky side of East London is the reason why he started walking tours. In conjunction with the innovative community organising group Guardians of the Arches, he presents a walk revealing the fascinating hidden world under our railway lines – and the human story behind the statistics.
As you'll hear, the fall-out has some surprising implications for both the London we love and the people who make it work.