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Community campaign saves bed makers from Crossrail demolition

PUBLISHED: 19:03 22 February 2012

Campaigners hold a sign outside the entrance to the Crossrail site on Great Western Road

Campaigners hold a sign outside the entrance to the Crossrail site on Great Western Road

Archant

An independent Westbourne Green bed makers is celebrating after winning a David versus Goliath battle and beating Crossrail’s bulldozers.

Big Table has had its shop and workshop in Great Western Road for almost 30 years, but staff were shocked when rail bosses served it with a compulsory purchase order last year.

The community rallied round and ‘Queen of Shops’ Mary Portas backed a campaign to save the shop, with more than 2,000 people signing a petition.

Last week Crossrail chiefs said that the project no longer needs to occupy the whole site and Big Table will be able to remain.

The shop’s owners said they were delighted to have won the campaign.

Kim Macrory, who runs the shop, said: “It’s really down to the community. We have to thank them for backing us with all of this.

“I don’t think it would have happened without them.”

She added that the business would look into recruiting more staff once the news settles in.

Bosses in charge of the new rail link initially said they would need the whole site to build a large electrical substation but they have now backtracked on the plans.

London Assembly member and Marylebone resident Murad Qureshi said: “I had always said that if the shop was able to survive the building of the Westway, it would be able to survive Crossrail.

“I’m just glad that such a local landmark and long-established business is going to remain in the neighbourhood.

“However, what is worrying is that Crossrail has had more than 20 years to consider all the options and yet it is left to the last hour before it considers alternative options.”

The business, which secured a 40-year lease on the premises in 1982, employs seven staff and is in the process of recruiting two young trainee apprentices. Its main building in Great Western Road dates back to 1901, when it was originally constructed as a coffee tavern for railway workers.

Crossrail bosses said they have worked closely with Big Table to ensure the business can stay.

Crossrail land and property director Ian Lindsay said: “Crossrail has been and will continue to make every effort to reduce the impact of Crossrail construction in west London.

‘‘We have reduced the extent of land required for our substation and negotiated an alternative access.”


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