Scaffolding on Brixton’s Grade II listed Reliance Arcade will be down in time for Christmas as a £1.4million National Lottery backed restoration nears completion.
The arcade, which runs between Brixton Road and Electric Lane, was built into an existing Georgian house between 1923 and 1925 in the Art Deco style which was the fashion of the day.
The Electric Lane frontage is a rare surviving example in London of Egyptian-inspired terracotta architecture which was in vogue following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
The arcade, which houses 27 small businesses across 40 units, is on Historic England’s heritage at risk register, but can be taken off once restoration is complete. The renovation started in April and is due to be completed early in the new year. The arcade has remained open for business.
A Lambeth council spokesperson said: “This important shopping arcade is home to a wide variety of small traders operating from a fantastically characterful building.
“We would encourage everyone to include a visit when out Christmas shopping this year so they can experience the atmosphere, see the progress made and support our small traders.”
The council has secured a guarantee that no rents will rise as a result of the work for at least five years.
Markie from Universal Roots Records who has been based in Reliance Arcade for four years said that the building really needed the renovations, and that he expects the end result will be great.
He said: “We get a lot of tourism with visitors to Brixton. The area has a long history of music and people want to come here and get an experience of that musical culture. The music shop is a place to browse and hangout, talk, it’s a real experience.”