Railway Arches – statement

Leeds retail arches

Network Rail is one of Britain’s largest providers of commercial business space for small to medium sized businesses

  • Arches are increasingly popular for a range of uses and the majority of our tenants are small independent businesses.
  • We are proud to have so many small independent businesses thriving on our estate providing a diverse range of offers to the public.
  • As a taxpayer funded, public company, we have a responsibility to use funds from property rents and sales to invest in improving and growing the railway. Our rents are competitive and reflect what any business in any particular area would expect to pay.
  • If a tenant faces difficulties with their rent we work with them to see what options are available, such as relocation to a different arch or a stepped rent to help them manage any increase.
  • We have over 7,500 properties in our commercial estate of which more than half are converted railway arches.
  • Of the 4,455 arch spaces that we let out, Network Rail lets fewer than 30 directly to national chains.
  • As with all commercial property, rent reviews happen on a periodic basis as outlined in tenants’ leases, rent is also re-set when fixed term leases expire. This is part of our normal business activity and has been for many years. Rents are based on local property market values. Some areas have seen marked regeneration in recent years which can lead to increased rents. In these circumstances we work with tenants to come up with solutions that work for their business while meeting our commercial obligations.

  • We have over 7,500 properties in our commercial estate of which more than half are converted railway arches.
  • Of the 4,455 arch spaces that we let out, Network Rail lets fewer than 30 directly to national chains.
  • As with all commercial property, rent reviews happen on a periodic basis as outlined in tenants’ leases, rent is also re-set when fixed term leases expire. This is part of our normal business activity and has been for many years. Rents are based on local property market values. Some areas have seen marked regeneration in recent years which can lead to increased rents. In these circumstances we work with tenants to come up with solutions that work for their business while meeting our commercial obligations.

  • In November 2017, we announced that we are selling our Commercial Estate business in England and Wales (including the business management platform) because it is a non-core railway asset and is a viable business to sell.
  • All of the proceeds from the sale will be retained by Network Rail and will help us to fund the Railway Upgrade Plan which is improving and enhancing the rail network for the benefit of passengers and the economy. The sales process is ongoing.
  • Once the business is sold, all current leases will transfer to the new buyer and all lease arrangements and protections will be unchanged. The tenants’ notice period will also continue as per their original lease agreement.
  • We will remain the freeholder of the sites, including all those required for the operational railway, with the new buyer becoming the leaseholder responsible for managing each of the individual properties.

  • In November 2017, we announced that we are selling our Commercial Estate business in England and Wales (including the business management platform) because it is a non-core railway asset and is a viable business to sell.
  • All of the proceeds from the sale will be retained by Network Rail and will help us to fund the Railway Upgrade Plan which is improving and enhancing the rail network for the benefit of passengers and the economy. The sales process is ongoing.
  • Once the business is sold, all current leases will transfer to the new buyer and all lease arrangements and protections will be unchanged. The tenants’ notice period will also continue as per their original lease agreement.
  • We will remain the freeholder of the sites, including all those required for the operational railway, with the new buyer becoming the leaseholder responsible for managing each of the individual properties.

Arches FAQS