Street markets

Improvements to the layout, water and electricity supplies to Electric Avenue have started with £1.2m, made up from £869k from the Mayor of London’s High Street fund and £390k from Lambeth council. The successful bid was made by Lambeth’s regeneration department and supported by Brixton market traders’ federation CIC.

The grant covers the resurfacing of Electric Avenue, street market design and layout costs, new entrance features to all the street markets, improved electricity supply and new water supply for Electric Avenue street market, new Gazebo stalls for Electric Avenue street traders, improved streetlighting for Electric Avenue, improved rubbish collection for the Avenue, public WiFi for the market area, a secure cashless payment system for all licensed Brixton street traders and the creation of a 10 year strategy for the street market.

Some traders who had initially welcomed the investment to improve the look and amenities of Electric Avenue are now worried about its impact on their business. Worries include the impact pedestrianisation will have on getting vans in to set up and the suitability and size of the stalls for stock display.

Stuart Horwood CEO of the market traders federation told the Bugle pedestrianisation remains a bone of contention. It is not covered by the grant for improvements, and is being dealt with separately . Cllr Jack Hopkins is to lead a series of meeting to look at the pedestrianisation traffic order.

“Prior to the bid, traders were invited to the town hall to discuss what they’d like to see in it. “Some things came up like better weather proofing, electricity supply, water supply and bigger pitches for the traders,” said Horwood.

A consultation with residents had identified noise when the market is being set up as a problem. Horwood added: “The stalls were intended to be a solution as they are quick to set up, safer and quieter and should help address resident concerns. But I understand they are not wanted by all the traders.”

Owain Jones who met with the trader on January 13 said, “The current works represent a much-needed £1m boost to the Electric Avenue street market. Many traders told us trade was down and shoppers have said they want a less congested and more attractive place to shop. We know there will be disruption but we’ve worked with traders to find alternative pitches nearby and think the long-term prize of a thriving iconic street market is worth it.”

Electric Avenue improvements – January to June 2016

Lambeth Council, with support from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund, is now investing over £1 million in improving the market and public realm on Electric Avenue.

The works include:

  • New paving across the whole street
  • New electricity, water points and entrance signage
  • Larger market stall pitches, along with new stalls that are quicker and quieter to set up
  • Moving the stalls into the centre of the street to make it easier to walk along
  • The improvement plans for the street markets were agreed with the help of traders, retailers, residents and others (see Developing the Market Strategy below).
Final design for Electric Avenue street market
Final design for Electric Avenue street market

Work will begin in January 2016 and is expected to last around six months. It will be completed in two phases but the market will remain open throughout.

  • Phase 1: between Atlantic Road and Electric Lane (January to March 2016)
  • Phase 2: between Electric Lane and Brixton Road (March to June 2016)

FM Conway will be the Council’s main contractor. They will work Monday to Saturday, between 8am and 6pm.

Information regarding disruption and changes

  • Some market stalls on Electric Avenue will need to be temporarily relocated.  We are working with traders directly to arrange this. If traders have any queries or concerns please direct these to Community Safeguarding, by phone on 0207 926 2733, or email CommunitySafeguarding@lambeth.gov.uk
  • Some market traders and shop retailers may need to relocate their displays for a short period to reduce the risk of contamination from dust.  All the normal legal obligations to protect food will remain in place. FM Conway will work with those affected to minimise the impact of the works.
  • Vehicular access to Electric Avenue will also be limited during the construction works. FM Conway will keep those affected informed as the works progress. Goods can be trolleyed in from Atlantic Road.
  • From the start of construction work, the Veolia operated Refuse Collection Vehicle will no longer drive down Electric Avenue. It will be replaced with a more frequent hand cart operated waste collection service.  Traders and retailers will be required to deposit waste directly into the cart and not on the carriageway.

Such a major investment in the town centre will cause some inconvenience and local disruption. We’ll be doing our best to minimise this but ask for your patience and cooperation. FM Conway also operates an emergency phone line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 0208 636 8822. Helen McConnell from FM Conway will be the liaison during the works and is available Monday to Friday during working hours on 07917518529 or helen.mcconnell@fmconway.co.uk.

New entrances to Brixton Street Markets

Developing the market strategy

Throughout 2015 we worked with the market traders, retailers, residents and others on an improvement plan for the street markets. It looked at the future size and layout of stalls and market pitches, along with the type of surfaces on the street and location of electricity and water points. It also looked at the management of the market, including waste, licencing and enforcement, along with how issues that residents face might be addressed.

Market traders, local shoppers and members of the public attended numerous events, street market pop ups and consultations to help us shape the final designs. Local shoppers and market traders told us what works and doesn’t work in the market and we came us with some designs based on this feedback.A scale model was made of the proposals for  Electric Avenue. Visit the blog post by Cllr Jack Hopkins and Cllr Jenny Brathwaite to find out more and see the design proposals outlined in this report

Potential redevelopment of the market trader car park

(accessed from Canterbury Crescent) with relocation of parking spaces to Pope’s Road car park – expected in late 2017

The council is considering an arrangement that would combine the site currently uses a car parking for the market traders (accessed off Canterbury Crescent) with the former pub site next door, currently owned and being developed by May Developments.

By combining the two sites we should be able to increase the number of affordable homes, secure a more efficient, integrated development and deliver wider social benefits, such as improved public realm and the widening of Pope’s Road.

We have written to all traders to inform them of this development and set out how we will re-provide trader parking:

  • If the deal goes ahead it is expected that construction would start late 2017.
  • The proposed new larger development would include an off-street car park underneath it with the intention that the space would be used by market traders once built.
  • The council currently leases the site used for trader parking to the Brixton Market Traders Federation (BMTF) and would continue to do so until the site was needed for construction.
  • Once construction is underway, the trader parking spaces would be relocated to the Pope’s Road car park, accessed from Brixton Station Road. There would be no loss of trader car parking space as part of this relocation.
  • By developing this site first, while we have the Pope’s Road temporary car park available, it means we can seek to ensure consistent provision of parking for market traders.

Useful Brixton Central Links

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Brixton Conversations film screening

2015-11-07 2pm (screening at 3pm for approx 20 mins) to 5pm
The Ritzy, Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London SW2 1JG
What does heritage mean, what is home & what creates our connection to Brixton? Anchor & Magnet asked 10 brixtonites to take part in a one to one chat with a fellow local they'd never met on film.... More »

Somerleyton Road exhibition

2015-10-13 5.30pm to 8pm
The Black Cultural Archives Heritage Centre
After many years working with local people on an ambitious new development incl more than 300 new homes and a theatre, we've now submitted a planning application. Come and see the plans and model.... More »

Somerleyton Road exhibition

2015-10-14 12 noon to 2pm
The Black Cultural Archives Heritage Centre
After many years working with local people on an ambitious new development incl more than 300 new homes and a theatre, we've now submitted a planning application. Come and see the plans and model.... More »

Somerleyton Road exhibition

2015-10-17 12 noon to 3pm
The Black Cultural Archives Heritage Centre
After many years working with local people on an ambitious new development incl more than 300 new homes and a theatre, we've now submitted a planning application. Come and see the plans and model.... More »