Council plans to extend Pop Brixton lease

pop brixton container village
Pop Brixton

Lambeth council is planning to extend the lease of Pop Brixton until November 2022. Its current lease expires on 30 November this year.

Pop is a temporary project on council-owned land – once the site of a multi-storey car park and then a temporary ice rink.

A council report says the site will be redeveloped in the future as part of its “Brixton Central” project. 

The reports says long-term plans to redevelop the site are not expected to be delivered until early 2023, but there would be a “break clause” in the new lease allowing the council to take over the site in November 2021.

Pop opened in May 2015 and its lease was extended in 2017 and 2018.

The report says these extensions were granted “to allow the council further time to formulate its plans for long-term redevelopment”.

Pop is very close to the Pope’s Road site where the owners of Brixton’s covered markets have applied for planning permission to build a 19-storey office tower – even though they have yet to buy the land it would stand on.

The relationship between the council and Pop Brixton Ltd is defined in an agreement attached to the lease which sets out the project’s social and other obligations. Should it ever turn a profit, the council would get half.

Pop Brixton has directors from MakeShift, which also runs similar projects in Peckham and Hackney, and The Collective, which runs up-market co-living spaces.

The council report says Pop delivers a range of social and economic benefits for local businesses and residents.

Pop Brixton

It says that in October 2017 an independent evaluation of the project reported:

  • £1.6m private sector investment to deliver the project;
  • Over 1,000 square metres of commercial space provided across 50 shipping containers with space for around 80 businesses or organisations;
  • An event space made available free (but subject to rate card for incidentals) to the local community for 25% of the time;
  • Over 500 events, and over 200 community events held;
  • Total footfall of over 1.6 million;
  • 98% of space occupied, and an average of 91% over project lifespan;
  • 47 businesses / organisations on site, supporting nearly 200 FTE jobs and 180 co-working members
  • At least eight affordable units at 50% of the costs elsewhere on the site;
  • Half of businesses on-site are start-ups; 14 have gone on to establish new locations elsewhere;
  • Six social enterprises located at Pop, benefitting from sub-market rent levels;
  • Strong local impact: nearly three quarters of businesses are owned by Lambeth residents, three quarters of employees are local, the average tenant purchases 41% of goods locally;
  • Nearly 5,800 volunteer hours generated by the Community Investment Scheme that requires each tenant to volunteer at least 1 hour per week;
  • A programme of schools/youth outreach; and
  • Reprezent Radio – a youth radio station, employing six people and broadcasting across London.

Pop is currently open Thursday to Saturday, noon to 11.30pm, and Sunday to Wednesday, noon to 10pm.

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