Camden Town joiners ‘squeezed out’ by rent hike after 20 years under railway arch
Camden Boxframe boss says Network Rail has increased his rent to £1,000 a week
08 December, 2016 — By Ella Jessel
From left: assistant Faton Berisha, owner Calvin Stroud and Issa Sany, a joiner at the firm for 12 years
A JOINERY firm that has worked out of a Camden Town railway arch for 20 years is moving its workshop out of the area after being “squeezed out” by a rent hike from landlords Network Rail.
The owner of Camden Box Frame, based opposite Camden Road station, is moving his staff and production off-site to south London because the rent on his workshop space is too expensive.
Calvin Stroud said he hopes to keep a shop front in Camden Road but that since Network Rail increased his rent to £1,000 a week he will no longer be able to pay the rent on the large workshop space.
He is also moving a tattoo shop he owns in Royal College Street on the other side of the railway bridge.
Mr Stroud said moving his production to south London was a “step forward” for his company but that local businesses would suffer without the constant trade from his employees.
“We’re going to move the production side out of town and try and keep the shop front here. It’s a lot of money to cover on a weekly basis. I’ve been here for 20 years. It’s not so much me it’s the local businesses I worry about. If you’ve got a dozen employees that buy coffee from the cafés and fags from the sweet shops and they go into bookies in the afternoon.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said it had brought in a phased rent increase of 32 per cent on the unit, adding: “In this instance we agreed a gradual rent increase over a three-year period to allow the business time to adjust. The business then chose to vacate the premises, citing the need for a larger space rather than the rent increase. As the space is now vacant we are considering all options for its future use, however, no decision has been made yet.”
Camden Box Frame was originally in line to be demolished under the initial plans for HS2 that required widening of sites next to Overground railway lines – a route that was later scrapped.