Save London's only floating bookshop by giving them a permanent mooring at Paddington Station.
This petition had 4,716 supporters
Word on the Water, London's only floating bookshop, may be forced to close after the canal authorities turn down their application for a permanent mooring outside Paddington Station, instead awarding both the available places to a huge real estate corporation, who plan to replace the bookshop with the area's 13th coffee outlet and a tourist boat. The London Bookbarge has been open for four years, selling affordable books and running poetry events and live acoustic music performances on its stage roof. There are additional mooring spaces available on the site, but the Canal & River Trust refuses to make one available, despite using the Bookbarge in its own promotional magazines and websites as an example of the colourful cultural scene of London's Canals. They are aware that this decision means closing the shop permanently.
We fully appreciate that it is of vital importance to the Trust, and to all boaters and canal users, that the charity is able to secure funding for its work, and sustainable funding at that. We recognise and respect the Trust's commitment to achieving long term financial independence to replace the taxpayer subsidy that once sustained it.
However financial capital is not the only measure of value. Cultural capital, for any charity, is also vital. We believe that the Trust's stated purpose, which is to ensure that history and communities are central to everything it does, and its stated mission, to inspire and excite people to connect with the canals and rivers, describes perfectly what we have endeavoured to do at Paddington.
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