‘Ripping the heart out of our business’: Brixton fishmonger faces eviction due to arches development

An 83-year-old fish shop is just one of the businesses whose livelihood ‘hangs in the balance’ during the proposed Brixton railway arches refurbishment.

South London’s first fish shop L.S. Mash was founded in 1932 but now Network Rail developers the planned Network Rail development  has asked them to vacate their premises within six months.

Brixton’s retail arches are bounded by Atlantic Road, Brixton Station Road and Pope’s Road and the joint partnership between Lambeth Council and Network Rail may leave many people in financial limbo.

Employee Ian Ridley, 62, has worked in the fish shop for 26 years and says that the planned 12-month refurbishment will have disastrous consequences on the business.

“As well as ripping the heart out of the business they are going to actually physically rip the business to shreds,” Mr Ridley told SW Londoner.

“We won’t be able to afford the rent so giants like Costa Coffee and River Island will come in.

“We cannot afford the higher rent whereas they have huge financial clout.”

Mr Ridley explained it was hard enough to pay the current rent, especially in a recession, and believes it will be impossible for small businesses to continue upon the work’s completion.

“Everything will be ripped out. If we do come back that means we’ll have to put another £80,000, which we don’t have, into the shop to get it back to scratch,” he said.

“We haven’t got that kind of money, none of the businesses here have.

“There will be nearly 400 people forced to go on the dole because of this.”

Picture courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks

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