Oct 7 2011 by Sharon Liptrott, Dumfries Standard Friday
A DUMFRIES businessman’s London firm is under threat from a £16 billion rail project.
Stephen Bond and co-director Kim Macrory, who is from Irongray, own Big Table, a furniture showroom which has been operating in the capital for nearly 30 years.
But they are facing ruin because they have been ordered to quit their North Paddington premises to make way for the massive Crossrail project.
In a desperate bid to save the business, an online petition has been launched in the hope that public opinion will force rail bosses to re-think plans to demolish their store to make way for an electricity sub-station.
Lochside-born Mr Bond said: “We have no legal leg to stand on because this is an Act of Parliament.
“We have met with Crossrail Limited and offered the land behind our showroom so that we can keep our premises but so far they are sticking to their plans.”
He added: “Our only hope is that we can drum enough public objections so that they are forced to make a rethink. Time is running out and we are currently trading until mid January. We are very busy and trying to keep going.
“We have been here for over 30 years now and whatever compensation we are offered will never meet the costs of trying to find another site in London.
“There just isn’t any space and costs are sky high. We probably would not survive outside of London so it is make or break for us. Without the Big Table site we have no businesses and no livelihood.”
The company, which sells bespoke handmade beds and mattresses, employs seven people including production manager John Copland, from Heathhall.
However, the premises, which have been rented from Network Rail since 1982, are in the way of plans to provide a new railway tunnel between Paddington and Whitechapel.
The link will enable suburban trains to travel from Heathrow and Maidenhead to Canary Wharf, Shenfield and Abbey Wood.
The Big Table site is needed for an electrical sub-station to power Crossrail trains.
And the business has been served an order to quit the premises by January 30, 2012.
Mrs Sandra Conner, who lives in Lochside, has set up an online petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/bigtable56/ in support of Big Table.
And petitions are also being passed around the town to match one in London.
Mrs Conner said: “Kim, Stephen and John have family and friends in Dumfries and Galloway and are looking for support from their hometown.”
Mr Bond added: “We hope people in Dumfries and Galloway will get behind us.”
A spokesman for Crossrail said: “Unfortunately it is not possible for Big Table to continue trading from this rail site while Crossrail works are underway.
“We are continuing to liaise closely with Big Table concerning relocation and compensation.”