Business owner fears third Olympic upheaval

A building contractors, currently situated within the Carpenters Estate in Stratford, could be forced to move location for a third time due to the Olympic Games.

The company was initially based where the Olympic Stadium now stands. They received a compulsory purchase order in 2005 along with over 200 other businesses. This forced them to temporarily move to Beckton. Poor communications and transport links in Beckton nearly destroyed the firm, so they moved back to Stratford eight months ago. Now plans to build a university campus on the Carpenters Estate has once again thrown their future into doubt.

The director of P.A. Finlay, Nick Athienitis, told this website that despite a healthy workload, the stress of the moves has caused financial problems and has broken family ties. In the interview below, he details how the company has had to relocate and how the threat of another move is affecting the business.

PA Finlay offer a wide range of services, ranging from large construction works to general maintenance. In the audio slideshow below, Nick explains a bit more about the type of work the company does.


Local businesses kept in the dark over road closures

Andrew Stanley Woodworking is located less than 600 metres from the Olympic site

Andrew Stanley Woodworking is a joinery business located less than 600 metres from the Olympic Site. They use the A12 every day to transport deliveries and send out fitters to and from the West End where many of their clients are based. But they fear that the road will be partially, if not completely blocked for up to 10 weeks before and during the Games.This would severely affect the running of the business. However, they have had no official information or advice from the local authorities.

Andrew Stanley who runs the business spoke to me about his concerns…


“We’ll have to adapt

The A12, which they use continuously to transport materials and products could be reduced to just 1 lane if the other becomes a designated Olympic VIP lane. And it could be cut off for 18 hours a day. This would mean Andrew Stanley having to work overnight, taking deliveries at 4am.

But with a lack of any official information, Andrew Stanley Woodworking and other neighbouring businesses on his site have come to the consensus that the A12 might be completely closed off.

Andrew has had no official correspondence from any authority

“Zero correspondence”

The last time Andrew had any contact with an official body about the Olympic Games was when he was visited 5 years ago by the Olympic Police who are responsible for security around the Olympic Site throughout the Games.

With less than 6 months to go before the Games, and the possibility that road closures could start to take effect 8 weeks before the actual event, Andrew wants to be in a position to start planning.

After contacting various councils for advice, he received an unofficial reply from Newham Council. He has not been asked to fill in any official forms. His local MP has yet to respond.

He feels that no one is willing to commit to any solid information, in case the situation changes.

“Sounds grim”

And today, Andrew told me that a notice has gone up at the Old Ford Junction warning of road works for the next 4 months. This is the business’s main way in and out of the site.

“We’re an afterthought”

A great deal of money is being put into the Olympics and the government is keen to project an image of professionalism around the event. There is a growing sense of excitement as the event draws ever closer.

It has been dubbed ‘everyone’s Games’ by the organisers. But local businesses like Andrew Stanley Woodworks are left feeling forgotten and abandoned.

If you have any useful information for Andrew, please contact us and we’ll pass it on.