Brixton Village and Market Row are crucially important local assets that, together with our street markets, help define the town centre. Ensuring that the future is secure for both Brixton Market and its traders is a top priority for Lambeth Council.
For these reasons, when we were informed about the intended sale we closely examined the situation surrounding the freehold and how that relates to the day to day running of the market by the current leaseholders Groupe Geraurd. Lambeth Council considered making a bid for the freehold, but our financial analysis indicated that we could not submit a bid at a competitive level.
Lambeth Council will continue to monitor the situation closely. If a sale is agreed, the day to day running of the market will remain under the control of Groupe Geraurd who have a lease on the whole site until 2036.
In 2008 Lambeth Council helped save the arcades from demolition and redevelopment by backing the local community campaign against the proposals. The council also helped successfully lobby Government for the arcades to become Grade II listed buildings. Brixton Village and Market Row were listed because of their cultural importance and contribution to the social and economic history of Brixton, particularly since the 1950s when they first became a centre for London’s Black Caribbean community. They were also listed because of their architectural importance. Arcades of this style were once more common, but are now increasingly rare.
Despite this victory the indoor markets were in decline. Following their failed redevelopment plans, LAP approached the council for support to help revive the markets and in turn, the council linked them up with a creative agency called Space Makers. Twenty vacant units were offered free of charge for three-months. Following a period of community engagement and events, more than 90 applications were submitted. This project is cited as a key factor in addressing the declining fortunes of the indoor markets.
We don’t currently believe that a new freehold ownership of Brixton Market will necessarily have any immediate impact on its day to day operation. However we pledge to fully engage with any new owners, as we have with previous owners, and work to ensure that Brixton Village and Market Row remain home to our valuable local traders and remain at the heart of our town centre.