If London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic bid succeeds, salmon smoker Forman and Field may have to end production after 100 years.
The company’s factory is on part of the site selected for the Olympic stadium. If the bid succeeds it would be subject to a compulsory purchase order at a low value, it said. It cannot afford the extra £3m (US$5.7m) it would cost to relocate to a new site.
“The whole thing is seriously grim,” Lance Forman, managing director of Forman and Field, told just-food. After two and a half years talking to government there was no agreement. “We only moved into this factory in 2002,” he said. “We’d invested an enormous amount of money in it. A year after moving in they tell us we’ll have to move again.”
“We do feel that we shouldn’t be out of pocket,” he said. “If we can’t find something that’s it we’re finished. We’re a 100 year old business, the world’s oldest salmon smoker.”
The site on which London plans to build a stadium for the 2012 Olympics is home to more than 308 businesses with around 15,000 associated jobs, he said. “The offers they are making for the land are so derisory you’d never be able to go elsewhere,” he said.
He complained that politicians, afraid of being seen as unsupportive of the Olympic bid, were afraid to speak out about the problem. “We want to support the bid,” he said. “But we want be expected to subsidise it”
The company has only recently started to publicise its complaint after a long process of trying to get the authorities in London and the organisation called ‘2012’, which is running the bid, to take the problem seriously. “We’ve been trying to get 2012 interested,” he said. “They keep fobbing us off. It’s a huge stitch up.”