The leader of Lambeth council is to meet with the landlords of Market Row and Granville Arcade (Brixton Village) after businesses were asked to pay £300 per month to continue trading in the evening.
Cllr Steve Reed has asked to meet a representative from Group Geraud, parent company of InShops ltd, who run the popular covered markets.
The row broke out last week when traders received a letter demanding an extra £75 per week if they want to stay open after 5.30pm until 9.30pm Thursday to Saturday to cover the “significant” extra costs of keeping the markets open. But traders say they have not been given a breakdown of costs and the extra charge is disproportionate.
Cllr Sally Prentis, member for enterprise and employment, told the Blog today: “The leader of the council has asked to meet with the owners of the covered market.”
Speaking in Federation Coffee in the arcade she added: “The businesses here have done a fantastic job in regenerating Brixton Village [Granville Arcade] and they are an important part of the character of Brixton.
“The council will do everything it can to support the businesses but we don’t own the markets.”
One trader, who runs a business in Granville Arcade, told the Blog earlier this week: “It is, of course, only a matter of time before the Brixton Village bubble bursts. But it seems that InShops are determined to burst it themselves, which is perverse.
“It is important that there should continue to be a diversity of trades in the arcade, and there is no way that fruit-and-veg can support the sort of rents that (say) Honest Burgers could afford. However, penalising late opening seems to me to be exactly the wrong way to go about it.”
All traders should be encouraged to open late whatever they sell, he said, to ensure the diversity continues into the evening.
Some traders are meeting this afternoon at Cornercopia, in Granville Arcade, to discuss their response to the demand. The deadline for signing the agreement is tomorrow.