Ridley Road Market – know the facts

Hackney Council and the Mayor of London are investing £1.5million into Ridley Road Market to help existing traders compete with a changing high street. 

The investment will see free new stalls, handheld card machines and wifi for traders, as well as greener and improved public spaces for shoppers. 

Protecting the market’s unique heritage and character was one of the key issues raised by residents and businesses in the Dalston Conversation, with many fearing redevelopment in the area could threaten its future. 

In response, the Council is running dedicated workshops with traders and local people on the design of improvements to public spaces. To get involved, visit https://dalstonplan.commonplace.is/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the Council privatising or closing down Ridley Road Market?

No. Dalston might be changing but Ridley Road Market is here to stay. Hackney Council is proud to operate the outdoor market and 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.

Are existing traders being evicted from the market?

No. We consulted last year on proposals to update terms and conditions, and fees and charges at all markets in Hackney. The proposals are aimed at making sure that all our markets – including Ridley Road – fund themselves so they can continue to grow and thrive. We have no plans to ‘privatise’ the market or evict existing traders.

Trader fees have not changed at Ridley Road Market – or risen with inflation – since 2016, despite our yearly waste, storage and maintenance costs increasing by over £100,000. We proposed a small fee increase of between £2 and £3 per day for most weekly traders to cover these increased costs, and a decrease in charges for traders in zone 3 of the market, making it the cheapest six-day-a-week market in London with people able to trade for as little as £8 a day. 

The proposed updated terms and conditions for Hackney market stalls have been developed with traders and cover: changes to food hygiene and health and safety legislation; the use of single use plastics, and the logistics of operating a market stall. There is no term or condition in the licence that enables the council to revoke a street trading licence to enable private development. We are currently analysing the feedback from the consultation and will publish next steps in the coming months.

What’s happening with the indoor 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.

In 2018, 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, Culture and Inclusive Economy, 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 support with finding 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 application will be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee later this year.

Are you making traders work a longer day?

No. The ‘51% rule’, which asks traders to be at their pitches for 51% of the day, is not new and was in place in previous terms and conditions. It is there to make sure that pitches are occupied when people are shopping, and. It is lower than other comparable boroughs – some of which require traders to be at pitches for 60%, or all, of the day – but is there to make sure pitches are occupied when people are shopping.

To share your views on the design of the improvement of public spaces, visit our dedicated website.