A long time has passed since we tried to get a lease from TfL. Lots of banging heads against walls and explaining to people that we were waiting for TfL and that we should hear back from them again soon. The romance of a railway arch and huge floorspace for small amount of money could only hold our interest for so long with TfL making life so very, very difficult. This is why I would not recommend TfL to anyone looking to start a brewery:
Loads of red tape to fill in...5 page application form for lease.
We had to provide credit checks and they also then went and had us credit checked....What is the point of this?
Lease application received by TfL in January. Still waiting for heads of terms in April!
They have told us that the directors will have to provide personal guarantees (not sure what then is the point of having a limited company).
A 20 page document every time you had wanted to do any changes to the premises.
Requirement for TfL approved contractors to do anything and everything.
Even getting a viewing is a painful and long drawn out process, we had at least one veiwing cancelled while 45mins into travelling to get there.
In hindsight, it makes me wonder why we wasted two months waiting for them.
Still, we have found a new location, in an industrial estate beside the Grand Union Canal just south of Hanwell. We have almost agreed heads of terms and with a bit of luck we should be in there in a month.
It has a slightly smaller footprint but much better set up for a brewery.
5M high ceilings throughout allowing more vertical storage or very big fermenters if expansion is required ...We are going to need a forklift.
Does not need a new roof.
Lots of natural light.
No damp this time.
Good access to drainage.
TfL not the landlord.
15 mins closer to my house.
Proximity of a good real ale pub. (The Fox in Hanwell)
Some pictures and a possible plan of new brewery. Photos were taken by Mike from Ellenberg's Brewery.