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Elephant and Castle Town Centre relocation

23 September 2020

Joint Statement from Southwark Council and the Elephant and Castle Town Centre team: “The Elephant and Castle Town Centre project team have been working closely alongside Southwark Council and its advisors, Tree Shepherd, to ensure all qualifying independent traders can relocate from the existing shopping centre ahead of the long planned closure on 24 September 2020.

"We are aware of the various uncorroborated statistics that have been published through social and other online media. These are incorrect. We can confirm without question that all qualifying businesses have been relocated or offered relocation options. Many of the businesses being cited by third parties did not qualify, did not apply to move or they have already left (in some cases a long time ago). The information being publicised by some organisations is simply inaccurate.

"We set out further details below, given the importance of accurate information at this critical moment for the Elephant and Castle Town Centre and to ensure that all stakeholders are fully aware that a thriving commercial centre will continue to exist, with local businesses fully represented and trading, after the shopping centre has closed.

"The misleading information published elsewhere risks damaging individual’s business prospects by implying closure of them and does not do justice to the exciting prospects that the relocating businesses and entrepreneurs can look forward to in the future. Similarly, it does not reflect the positive feedback received from the majority of businesses, who have accessed all the help that is on offer.

"In total, 79 Independent traders qualified for the relocation programme and 61 valid applications were made for space in properties closest to the shopping centre owned by the Elephant and Castle Town Centre redevelopment and Southwark. Of these 61 businesses (see details below), eight market stall holders and two kiosk traders are still, as yet, to find a new home. The remaining 18 businesses (79 – 61 = 18) didn’t engage in the application process for space in Castle Square, Ash Avenue and Elephant Arcade. We understand they have made their own arrangements for their businesses.

"The delivery of a new Town Centre has been over 20 years in the planning, with a significant majority consensus in favour throughout. Nevertheless, any transition of this scale presents significant challenges, not least around the disruption caused to existing traders and residents as the changes take place. Extensive interventions and processes have rightly been put in place to ensure any negative impact on these groups can be mitigated as far as possible. The results of the trader relocation process to date demonstrates the positive impact and true value of these carefully considered initiatives.

"As the delivery process moves to the next stages, with demolition of the existing shopping centre commencing in October 2020, there remains much to do to ensure that the town centre continues to thrive for the benefit of all traders and residents, and leading to next stage of the Elephant and Castle’s long history. We will continue to do our utmost to help that process and ultimately welcome the new Town centre facilities:

  • a new Northern Line Station with significantly enhanced capacity and future proofed for the Bakerloo Line Extension,
  • the retention of the London College of Communications at the Elephant and Castle and a new HQ for UAL,
  • 979 new homes, 35 per cent of which in affordable tenures, where none exist at the moment
  • Further town centre retail and leisure outlets, 10 per cent of which will be available long term at discounted affordable rents
  • all presented in a healthy and sustainable open-air environment 

Having the existing traders central to and represented within this next period of change offers an unprecedented and exciting opportunity for all.”

Page last updated: 23 September 2020

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