Protecting Ridley Road Market

The Council operates the outdoor Ridley Road street market and we have pledged to protect and improve it. It is an essential, diverse and historic part of Dalston’s culture, and we are determined to be a champion for it.

Last month, we announced that together with the Mayor of London, we will invest more than £1million into Ridley Road to help existing traders compete with a changing high street. This work could give traders new facilities and provide more pedestrianised spaces for shoppers to browse their stalls – all while preserving its unique character.

We have no intention of closing Ridley Road Market down – or changing its character. We want it to continue to be successful, bringing people from different backgrounds together at the heart of the community.

Our dedicated Markets team works across the borough with traders associations to deliver and promote successful street markets. This has seen them grow by 14% since last year, with an extra 455 traders operating across our street markets, which now host more than 4,000 traders a month.

Ridley Road Shopping Village

This building, a neighbouring indoor market, is operated by a private company and we do not own or control it. The owners have submitted a planning application to convert and extend this building into new homes, retail and employment space, but it has not yet been considered by the Council’s Planning Committee.

Last year, the police issued a Community Protection Notice to the management company of the Shopping Village instructing them to install things like CCTV to support crime prevention and ensure fire exits were not blocked.

However, they chose to close the market early ahead of the owners’ planned refurbishment, and issued eviction notices to tenants. Mayor Philip Glanville and Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Business and Investment, met with the owners of the building to set out the Council’s concerns. This intervention meant the traders and tenants of the studios above the market were given an extended deadline to acquire legal advice and sign a six-month lease, and the owners agreed not to close the Shopping Village.

We have also stepped in to support affected traders, offering them a fast-tracked stall on the outdoor market it operates or other retail premises if more appropriate.

The Council’s independent Planning team will continue to scrutinise the owners’ planning application as part of the planning process, to ensure it complies with the borough’s planning rules. The owners have confirmed that traders will be able to stay well into this year, with the potential to secure a longer term lease in the renovated building, with similar affordable provision.

A changing Dalston

We know that many people may see this as further evidence of a changing Dalston, with new businesses, people and buildings. We agree. That’s why we launched the Dalston Conversation in September to get the ambitions of local people for the future, and what they’d like the Council’s priorities to be.

Dalston has seen a transformation in the last 5-10 years, but we are determined that new buildings and private investment don’t put Dalston’s character and heritage at risk.

We can’t control all change, but we don’t believe it should come at the expense of existing communities and the things you value. We think it should also mean a better town centre, streets and public spaces, better access to jobs and employment opportunities, and better facilities for local residents and businesses.

Protecting and improving Ridley Road Market was our first pledge, and we’re already delivering on it by investing money in new facilities. Our other pledges are:

✔ Be a champion for existing business and culture

✔ Deliver affordable spaces for local businesses

✔ Secure the future of the Eastern Curve Garden

✔ Be honest about plans for the future

✔ Use your feedback to shape change

✔ Keep and promote diverse shops, restaurants and nightlife

If you’re passionate about Dalston and retaining its unique character, take part and tell us what you think we should be focussing on.