Kingsland Shopping Centre gets a makeover

Kingsland Shopping Centre. Pic: Erica Mochia

Local Dalston residents are invited to review the council’s action plan for the area around Kingsland Shopping Centre.

Last week Hackney council published the Dalston Action Plan, which aims to improve the area around Ridley Road Market and Kingsland Shopping Centre.

The plan includes new front shops at Ridley Road market and a cycling bridge across the East London line, but a key part of any improvement would be the Kingsland shopping centre.

The shopping centre currently contains a mix of small independent retailers and mainstream retailers, such as Matalan and Sainsbury’s. One recent review by Jo Fuerte sums up the atmosphere:

“Really uninspiring, grubby, run of the mill city shopping centre with an arse end selection of shops…Superdrug anyone? So why have I given it four stars?

“Because of the majestic stalls! While I was living in the area it was my go to whenever I needed my fix of cheap jewellery, candy floss and Nollywood DVDs. Honestly, the weirdest selection of stalls but when you compulsively buy cheap, useless tat for kicks like myself it is a dream land.”

Hackney council hopes, with the cooperation of the shopping centre owners, Criterion Capital, to refurbish the centre in order to; “Increase retail and business viability of the town centre”.

The overall response to the plan locally has been very positive. Rashid Wale, who lives in Dalston said: “ I think this will be a great opportunity to open the area, we are well due for an upgrade of some many buildings in Dalston, it will give it great opportunities”.

Although the plan is committed to improving and maintaining the unique character of the outdoor market, some of the traders inside the shopping centre are worried:

Femi Adedeji said: “Bigger shops will be obviously more expensive, which locals won’t be able to afford. And for someone like me I might have to go out of business.”

Jason Hull, also an independent retailer in the centre said: “The redevelopment of the centre will cause a change and bring wealthier people, however, the things we sell wont appeal to this class of people, they are not our market.”

An important part of the Action Plan is to bring in the local people, who have until November 3 to review the proposals. The council is keen to involve the public. Earlier this year they made proposals for Hoxton Street market where traders and residents equally were asked to come up with suggestions.

To view the plan and make suggestions click here.


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