The future of Brixton Street Market
Written by Stuart Horwood
June 4, 2015
Categories: Brixton Central, Business and enterprise, Jobs and training, Public spaces, Town Centre, Townscape Heritage Initiative
Earlier this year Brixton Markets Traders’ Federation Community Interest Company, working with Lambeth Council, secured £869k from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund to invest in Pope’s Road, Brixton Station Road and Electric Avenue. The Council are topping this up with a further £380k. It’s our collective opportunity to bring the street market into the 21st century, while retaining its 19th century roots.
The money will pay for several things, including a 5 year strategy for the street market which will help secure and guide its improvement as a commercial and community asset in the heart of Brixton. Consultants are already talking to traders, residents, shopkeepers and shoppers to inform the strategy.
Most of the money will be invested in Electric Avenue, which will receive a new hard surface and new water and electricity outlet points for the stalls. Iconic Electric Avenue has become very cluttered and rough around the edges in recent years. The money we have will deal with most of this, improving the trading and shopping environment for everyone – street traders, our customers, as well as the local shops.
Up to 5 new ‘entrance features’ will be installed at key locations around the market streets. These have long been desired by the traders to announce the street market and welcome people to the area. This is a real opportunity to showcase Brixton’s character and community identity.
The toilets in Pope’s Road will also be renovated. Both the shops and the street market need this public amenity so we’re pleased it’s going to get some TLC.
As part of the investment, free to use Wi-Fi will be installed in the market streets to enable customers and visitors to get on line. Traders will be able to hook into the Wi-Fi and use new hand held card payment systems to take payment by plastic, boosting business and sales. We will still be pleased to take cash though!
There will also be a new Brixton £ cash machine installed on the exciting new Pop Brixton site – this will be a world first that continues to support a self sustaining economy in our beloved Brixton.
So there will be a lot going on! Some disruption over the coming months is expected, but the street market will remain open during the Electric Avenue works – you might just have to look a bit harder for your favourite market stall. It’s all for the good of the street market and Brixton town centre, something to be celebrated by all market users.