Space Makers: The story so far

In early 2009, a group of us started meeting regularly to talk about the spaces in which we live, work and play.

We were interested in the ways we saw them changing, in how we create sociable spaces that aren’t dominated by corporate agendas, how we make better use of empty or underused space and find opportunities in the gaps within our towns and cities.

It was an interesting time to be having these conversations. Woolworths had just gone bust, its empty stores highlighting a crisis of Britain’s high streets which had started long before the recession. Artists and makers were switching on to the idea of “slack space” — and people like the Empty Shops Network’s Dan Thompson went from crying in the wilderness to being besieged by calls. The newspapers were full of stories about pop-​up shops, while a new generation of squatters were stirring debates about which is worse: empty buildings being left to rot, or people breaking in and making use of them?

After a couple of months, we set up a website to keep in touch and share information in between meetups. We called it the Space Makers Network. By May 2009, it had grown from the original London group to several hundred people around the UK connecting to talk about empty spaces, co-​working projects, pop-​up shops and other imaginative ways of reusing space.

At this point, we started to get emails from local authorities and businesses looking for an organisation they could work with which understood this new way of doing things. They could see that something was going on, but they couldn’t quite understand it. So we found ourselves talking to them about this spirit of DIY regeneration, improvising and hacking together spaces that work out of the situations we find ourselves in, rather than conjuring up utopian architectural visions.

And that was how Space Makers Agency came about. The idea was to have a counterpart to the Network, able to work with local authorities, property owners and anyone who was interested in funding new ways of making spaces work.

The agency launched in September 2009 and six weeks later we announced our first hands-​on project at a 1930s indoor market in south London known as Brixton Village or Granville Arcade. Lambeth council had introduced us to the market’s owners, who agreed to fund us to fill twenty empty shops through a competition for temporary creative projects and new local businesses.

It’s a big leap from hosting conversations and developing ideas to putting them into practice. We were learning as we went along, making mistakes and succeeding by accident, but by spring 2010 it was clear that something was working at Brixton Village. Over the year that we worked there, over a thousand people got involved in one way or another in creating pop-​up shops, launching new businesses, organising events, performing or running workshops — and the spirit of the project captured the imagination of thousands of visitors, not to mention newspapers, magazines and TV channels around the world.

By the time we moved on from Brixton Village, one year on, all twenty shops were let to long-​term tenants — new local independent businesses, many of which had come through our original competition. A new community arts hub, The Brick Box, secured funding from Lambeth First to continue and expand the rolling festival of events and workshops which we had kicked off.

Brixton Village dominated our first year as an agency, but it wasn’t the only project we were working on. In early 2010, we collaborated with RIBA London on Forgotten Spaces, a design competition to reimagine overlooked or undervalued pieces of public space around the city. We created a website where people could get involved in Mapping Forgotten Spaces and ran a series of face-​to-​face workshops on Remembering Spaces, encouraging architects and designers to think about the stories, memories and relationships people already have to spaces which might appear to be “forgotten”.

Having said goodbye to our friends at Brixton Village, late 2010 has been a time for gathering our thoughts and working out what we want to do next. Here’s where we’ve got to so far:

  • We see ourselves as an innovation agency — always trying new things, developing new ways of working, rather than becoming specialists at implementing one particular model.
  • Our focus is the spaces in which we live, work and play — and the ways in which these are changing.
  • Our work is to host conversations, explore ideas, test those ideas through hands-​on projects and share what we learn.
  • We want everything we do to be enjoyable for its own sake, not just as a means to an end.

We are still a small organisation with no core funding, but a wealth of skills, experience and networks. From that base, we are reaching out and beginning conversations about new projects around London and beyond.

And the next phase starts this week — just down the road from Brixton in West Norwood, this Wednesday night, where we’ll be launching our newest project. Come along and join us — or look out for more information on this site very soon.

If you want to talk to us about how Space Makers could work with your organisation, please get in touch.

Brixton Village: One Year On

Brick Box & United 80 launch party last month (Photo: Andy Broomfield)

It’s a year this week since we agreed to run a project to bring twenty empty shops in Brixton Village back into use. If we’d had any idea of the scale of what we were embarking on, I doubt whether Julia or I would have had the courage… Sometimes lack of foresight is an advantage!

It’s been an amazing year and none of us would have missed it. We’ve seen the empty corners of the market come alive, worked with hundreds of people who brought their own talents and dreams, and watched twenty new independent local businesses grow out of all that chaos and creativity.

The original plan was for a three month project, but it soon became clear that we were involved in something more complex and longer-​term. A market is an incredible tangle of people, place, trades and stories, where everything is interconnected and interdependent. A year on, we’re still learning, and still blown away by the grit and good will which goes into making Brixton Market such a special part of London.

It’s important to know your limits, though — and we’ve felt for a while that a time was coming when our skills would no longer be what the market needed. Twelve months on, with all the original shops now let to new businesses, this feels like a good moment to step back. So, from November, Space Makers will no longer be funded by LAP to work at Brixton Village.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything that’s happened in the last year will come to an end. Our role has been to act as a catalyst, to help other people get things started, without making ourselves indispensable.

So, you can still expect Saturday afternoons and Thursday nights to be full of surprises. There will be plenty more opportunities to get involved in events and performances at the market — not least through the new Brick Box community arts hub and cafe, funded by Lambeth First, which opened last month at Unit 41–42.

More generally, we’d encourage everyone who has discovered or returned to the market over the past year as a result of this project to continue to support all the market’s traders, new and old. The Friends of Brixton Market have been critical friends to us throughout this project — we’ve had differing perspectives at times, but they play an important role in asking difficult questions about the future of the market, and they deserve support and involvement from as wide a range of people who care about the market as possible.

We also believe that there’s a need for regular, joined-​up discussions between all the groups with a stake in the future of Brixton Market, through a cross-​market forum of some kind, something that others have proposed. In the next few weeks, we’ll be meeting up with people from those groups to talk about this and other possibilities for assuring the long-​term viability of the mix of old and new, cultures and traditions, trades and stories which has drawn so many of us to the market.

Finally, we won’t be disappearing altogether. Although the project finishes next month, Mitchell and I will still be living around the corner from the market and we look forward to continuing to be involved as local residents — and I’m sure you’ll see Julia, Kat and Flora’s faces around the place, too!

We’ll share more information with you about next steps as we can, over the next few weeks. For now, we just want to say thank you again to everyone who’s been part of what’s happened at Brixton Village over the past year.

Valuing the Market

When Lambeth Council introduced us to the owners of Brixton Village/​Granville Arcade a year ago, there were twenty shops sitting empty in the market. Its current manager tells me that in the ten years he has worked there, under two different owners, he doesn’t remember a time when there were fewer than fifteen units empty.

We persuaded the owners to fund us to run a project which would take shops that would otherwise be sitting empty and let people use them rent-​free for up to three months. This wasn’t an idea which came out of nowhere — there had been art events in the market before, there were the ASC studios upstairs and projects like Cabinet of Curiosity had led the way for artists using unlet shops at Granville. There was also a national movement to make better use of empty shops, something we’d been involved in since early 2009, alongside the Empty Shops Network and Meanwhile Space.

This project has succeeded in making the shops at the back of the market viable again by bringing new visitors in. (I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who start by telling me, “I’ve been walking past this place for years and I never knew it was here!” or “I remember coming here with my mum when I was a kid — it’s great to see it so full of life.”)

We completely agree with Cllr Rachel Heywood, as quoted in last Friday’s South London Press, that “the mix of traders both new and established” is essential to the long-​term future of the market. The achievements of this project have come from the hundreds of people who’ve got actively involved, running pop-​up shops, building their businesses, organising events, spreading the word. Most of these people live in walking distance of the market — and for its continued success, it will need to continue serving the whole range of people who live in this part of London.

Different people are best-​placed to see different parts of this situation. What Space Makers can see is how easily Brixton Village could end up back in the position it was in a year ago. A sharp increase in rents could quickly undo the hard work which went into filling the empty areas of the market, hurting both the market’s businesses and its customers.

The South London Press and the Evening Standard have drawn attention to the situation of traders in Brixton Village and the neighbouring arcade, Market Row, who have been presented with increases in rent and service charges. Increased rents are much like government cuts — sometimes they have exactly the opposite of the intended effect.

More ways to get involved at Brixton Village

UPDATE: The Space Makers project at Brixton Village finished in October 2010, but there are still plenty of other ways to get involved. Please contact The Brick Box community arts hub for more information.

When we started work at Brixton Village in November, there were twenty shops sitting empty. Since then, hundreds of people have come together to fill its avenues with new businesses, creative projects and pop-​up events.

This started with the offer of three months rent-​free space — but it only succeeds if the market continues to be full of life and activity into the future. There mustn’t be a moment when things empty out again.

The good news is that a number of the first Space Makers shops which opened in December are now ready to become long-​term rent-​paying tenants in the market. There are also great new independent businesses which have opened in the market in the past month, outside of the Space Makers scheme — including the Olive Tree Moroccan restaurant, Bellantoni’s artisan pasta place and vintage fashion shop Rejuvenate — and more are due to open next month.

The bad news — for those of you wanting to get your hands on a space — is that the success of the scheme means there won’t be more three-​month rent-​free periods on offer.

However, there are still several ways you can get involved:

1. Shops for rent

There are some shops available on normal rents from the market’s owners. For more information, email [email protected]​spacemakers.​org.​uk and we’ll put you in touch with the market management team.

2. Short-​term pop-​ups

There will be some temporary pop-​up opportunities to use a shop rent-​free for a week or more, when there are gaps between rentals. If you have a project and you can move fast, send a one-​page description of what you want to do to [email protected]​spacemakers.​org.​uk

Unlike the original competition in November, there is no deadline for this — we’re creating an ongoing pool of potential pop-​ups, so that space at the market doesn’t sit empty and people have the opportunity to use it. You’ll get rent-​free use of the space, but you’ll have to be ready to move out at seven days notice.

We’ll be looking for projects which are rooted in Brixton, fit with the existing independent businesses and creative activities at the market — and are able to come into a shop within seven days of getting a call from us!

We know that’s insanely short notice, but we also know that there are people and groups out there which can rise to the challenge. If that sounds like you, then send us your proposal as soon as you can. We’re looking to bring the first new pop-​ups in very soon!

3. Events at Brixton Village

Every week, we run an open meeting for people interested in getting involved with the events that happen at the market — performances, workshops, one-​day pop-​ups. This is your chance to make Saturdays special and to come up with ideas for what else we can do to make the market work for everyone.

Come and join us on Tuesday nights at the Dogstar, Coldharbour Lane. We’re there from 6.15 to 7.30pm. Bring your ideas and get together with people to make them happen.

Help us map London’s “forgotten spaces”

Is there an empty building you walk past every day that you wish something would happen to? A patch of ground that you’d like to turn into an urban orchard? Or a streetcorner that, with a bit of imagination, could get your neighbours talking to each other?

If so, we’re inviting you to add it to the new website we’ve created in partnership with RIBA London — Mapping Forgotten Spaces.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bringing together groups of architects, designers and artists to explore overlooked and underused spaces around London. It’s all part of RIBA London’s Forgotten Spaces competition — and now we’re inviting everyone to join in discussing the spaces they’ve found and to suggest other spaces you’d like to see reimagined.

The idea of the site is to create an ongoing conversation about spaces which people feel have been neglected, the different uses, experiences and memories which others may have of those spaces, and the possibilities for what happens to them next.

We don’t take the idea of “forgotten” spaces for granted. It immediately leads to questions: who has a space been forgotten by? Who might see it differently? Might it be best left the way it is? How do new projects take account of the relationships people already have to a space?

That’s why we want the site to start conversations. You can add a space and ask questions or suggest ideas for it — then see what other people have to say. Or start by looking at which locations in your area have already been added, and join in the conversation about them.

Mapping Forgotten Spaces is open to everyone, not just entrants to the competition — so explore the site, start adding spaces and tell us what you think.

Saturdays in Brixton: We Need You!

For the past four months, Space Makers Agency has been working at Brixton Village (aka Granville Arcade), an amazing indoor market in south London. When we started, there were 20 empty shops in the market. Now they’re full of new community-​driven businesses and temporary creative projects. We’ve been working to make the space work for them — as well as for the existing traders.

Now, we’re looking for artists, musicians, performers, community groups and others to get involved and help make Granville a sociable, creative and welcoming space for everyone — and a place where local, independent businesses can thrive.

Since January, we’ve been organising events at the market every Saturday. From pop-​up restaurants to performance festivals, sweet-​making workshops, a carnival parade, bicycle-​powered cabaret and community opera, the art deco arcades have welcomed all kinds of playful, hands-​on, DIY fun. It’s all been done on a shoestring and a huge amount of good will.

And so far, it’s been a real success story. The Times called the project “the largest example yet of a growing nationwide trend” for the creative reuse of underused space. Big green bloggers Treehugger wrote about the “very special atmosphere… bursting with energy, atmosphere and a true sense of community” and called it “an important social experiment.”

What’s mattered most to us, though, is how far people who’ve known and cared about Brixton Market for years have been willing to give us the benefit of the doubt. We don’t take this for granted.

The idea of a market as a sociable space, where people hang out, listen to a storyteller or a group of musicians or get into philosophical debates, meet old friends and make new ones — this isn’t something arty or avant garde, it’s been going on for as long as markets have existed. It’s one of the things that makes a market a different kind of space to a supermarket or department store.

It’s in that spirit that we want to keep the Saturday events growing, but also make them more organic, something anyone can get involved in. It’s not like we’ve tried to be exclusive up to now, but there hasn’t necessarily been an easy way to get involved. So we’ve decided to start having a weekly meeting that’s open to anyone who wants to make things happen at the market. This will be a chance to bring your ideas, meet others to collaborate with and find ways to get involved.

So come along to The Dogstar on Coldharbour Lane on Tuesday nights at 6.15pm. We look forward to meeting you!

(And, in the mean time, join us tomorrow for We are Family — a day of fun for all ages!)

(Photos from Andy Broomfield and Ash Finch)

Remembering Spaces: Workshops 4th & 13th Feb

Space Makers Agency and RIBA London have joined forces for a pair of events this month, as part of the Forgotten Spaces design competition. Artists, students, designers, architects and space makers of all kinds are invited to take part in our mapping workshops in Brixton and Hackney.

The Forgotten Spaces competition invites proposals for overlooked pieces of land around the capital. Our workshops will explore the questions this opens up — who has a space been “forgotten” by? What roles might it play for different people who live or work around it? How do we go about “remembering” a space in ways which take account of the relationships people already have with a space?

The workshops will be led by Space Makers Associate Sara Haq and will involve exploring and mapping potential “forgotten spaces” in the local area, as well as developing ideas and perspectives from which proposals could be developed. We want to encourage people to think beyond the conventions of their professional practice and explore the complexities of space and memory.

The first event is this Thursday — the second, a week next Saturday. Here are the details:

Brixton: 15.00−17.30, Thursday 4 Feb (up to 50 capacity)
Meet outside Unit 41/​42, Brixton Village indoor market, Atlantic Road, Brixton
Directions here

Hackney: 15:00–17.30, Saturday 13 February
Meet at 129 — 131 Mare Street, Hackney E8 3RH

Places for the workshops will be awarded on a first come first served basis and additional sessions may be held in other areas, subject to demand. You’ll need to bring your own digital camera (or cameraphone), notebook and writing materials.

The event is free, however all attendees must register in advance. Contact to book a place.

Space Makers in Brixton: How are we doing?

It feels like a good moment to take stock of what’s happened so far with the Space Makers project in Brixton.

I’ll post some photos soon of the big foodie event yesterday. We had hundreds of people down and a great atmosphere — and I had all kinds of interesting conversations with people over the day, from people visiting Granville Arcade for the first time to people who’ve known it all their lives.

The first wave of new occupants we brought into the market are now half way through their three months rent-​free. Some of them only ever intended to be temporary projects, but many hope to make the jump to becoming permanent rent-​paying tenants at the end of the three months. Talking to them in the Dogstar last night, it’s clear that this is starting to seem achievable. If we keep making the market a great place to go on Saturdays, that can support their businesses through the quieter times of the week.

So much for the new businesses we’ve brought in. This project has been (to mix cliches) both a race against time and a steep learning curve. Up to now, we’ve had to focus on getting the new occupants set up and organising events to bring new visitors to the market. I’m conscious, though, that this has meant we’ve not done as much as we should have on other really important parts of the project. In the next few weeks, I want to put that right.

We haven’t done enough to spread the word locally, as well as online.

Although it is happening here and there, we haven’t given enough time to building relationships with the existing traders and figuring out how to make this project work for them as well as for the newcomers.

And we haven’t done enough to hook up with all the people in Brixton who love the market and want it to thrive, not to be “regenerated” or transformed, but to be as distinctive as it’s always been.

I’m massively grateful for the help and guidance of Paul Bakalite, Mitchell Jacobs from Mo-​Shon, the Friends of Brixton Market and a lot of other people locally who have got involved, or just had a quiet word in my ear about where we might be getting things wrong. In three months working at the market, I’ve already got more sense of being grounded in a place than I have after two years of living in Hackney — and that’s one of the reasons I’ll be moving to Brixton next month.

I don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard on a project as I am on this one at the moment — and I’m loving every minute of it. I know Julia and I have come in to this as outsiders and people are right to question our agenda and our understanding of the situation we’ve come into. I want to have those conversations, because every time I do I learn more about why this place matters to people and how we can work with others to try and get this right.

So please, come down and find me at Granville — or get in touch online, or through comments on this post — and I’ll gladly sit down and talk about any of this.

Final line-​up for Saturday’s big foodie day at Brixton Village!

cornercopiaCome and join us this Saturday to celebrate the revival of Brixton Village indoor market (aka Granville Arcade) with a day of tasty events to warm the coldest January! Space Makers has been working there over the past couple of months to fill twenty empty shops and develop a vision for the market’s future which works for everyone involved.

In the past ten days, a new buzz and sense of possibility has started to spread around the market. People are starting to believe this can work.

Tomorrow’s a great chance to see that for yourself. We’ve got new restaurants opening, one-​day pop-​ups from some of London’s top food bloggers and guerrilla chefs, free tastings, competitions, shows and classes…

That’s as well as the unique mixture of old and new shops in the market, including twenty creative pop-​ups and new community-​driven businesses that have opened in the past few weeks as part of this project.

Something’s happening down here — there’s an adventure going on — so come and be part of it!

New Bites on the Block…

Granville is already home to some of the tastiest, best-​value restaurants in London. We love our huge Colombian lunches, Filipino fare at Islander’s Kitchen, jerk chicken from the cafes at the Coldharbour Lane entrance. Yummmmmm…

Now the market got even tastier, with the launch this weekend of three new restaurants and cafes:

Etta’s Seafood Restaurant (85−86) — Run by Etta and her daughter, who buy all their fish in the market. Expect a new twist on Caribbean flavours and a warm welcome!

Olive Tree (43−44) — Mahmood and his friends will be serving dishes from Morocco and around the Mediterranean. Olive Tree has been set up by a group of families who want to create a community space and offer young people an alternative to extremism. What better way to build community than to sit down and eat together! Join them for their opening at 11.15am.

Federation Coffee (46) — Welcome this new artisan specialty coffee house to Granville! It’s smells of freshly roasted beans will soon be drifting along the avenues, tempting us all down for a fix of the finest coffee in South London.

For one day only…

Travels with My Fork (81) — Top food-​bloggers, Mel and Kelsie, are cooking up Mexican fun and fare for the day. Come and check out their pop-​up restaurant!

The Granville Tea Party (40) — Another one-​day pop-​up, this time from Bridget, founder of the fabulous Wild Caper deli in neighbouring Market Row. Together with Arno from the Saltoun Supper Club and Petra from ChocStar, she’ll be serving tea and cakes. Dress for a tea party and join the fun!

Ms Marmite Lover’s Lunch Club (73) — Food blogger extraordinaire and founder of the legendary Underground Restaurant, Ms Marmite Lover is creating a one-​day pop-​up restaurant, cooking with ingredients bought from the stalls throughout the market. Turn up between 12 and 2 for a donation lunch, with all profits going to the Haiti earthquake appeal. Expect queues out the door!

Tastings galore…

Cornercopia (65) — Join the folks at the recently-​opened Brixton Cornercopia for some hot cider punch, spicy harria soup, a slab of Ian’s grandiose apple pork pie and some spanakopita, share favourite recipes with us over a cup of tea and slice of orange and almond cake. There’ll be regular tastings and recipes sheets for you to take away and a chance to try making Cornercopia’s best selling plantain chutney yourself at home or go winter foraging to make one of Invisible Foods January recipe ideas — wild herb risotto or chickweed pesto!

Take Two (3) — Tastings of tasty Jamaican food & yummy veg juice at the cafe whose barbecue smells set Brixton’s mouths watering.

Special events

Whatever time you turn up, you can be sure there will be something going on:

11am — Come down for an Under 11’s Cake Design Competition! Show us what your dream cake looks like and win a prize from Sweet Tooth, the market’s newly-​opened old-​fashioned sweet shop. The competition is happening at Sweet Tooth (66) and the Okido Doodle Shop (89) which will be providing play activities for small people throughout the day.

12pm — As lunch gets under way, join The Scatter Collective for a Tea Party at Space Station, the market’s pop-​up theatre festival.

12pm — “I hate Cabbage!” Can Transition Town Brixton convince you to eat your greens? A tasting of delicious cabbage recipes at the Community Shop (6) You can also have a lesson in cooking “Cheap & easy-​to-​make seasonal soup”.

12pm & 3pm — Filipino food tastings and cookery demonstrations with Margarita at the Islanders Kitchen (55).

12pm & 3pm — Tasting sessions and recipe-​sharing at Cornercopia (65), the shop that sells foods made with ingredients bought from around the market.

3pm — Wild-​food Risotto Tasting with the Transition Town Brixton Food & Growing group. Learn about the foods that grow free in our neighbourhoods.

4pm — Join Georgina and friends at Sweet Tooth for a tasting of tempting treats from around the world — from Caribbean tamarind balls to hot ginger sweets from Ghana.

It’s not just about eating…

If you’re too full to taste another morsel, you can also check out:

Leftovers (71) — A history of aprons and kitchenwear at Margot’s vintage and antique clothes shop.

Artinavan (72) — Slow down and experience the magic of the Camera Obscura, until it starts to spin your head! As your eyes adjust to the dark, the market emerges upside down on the screen. The effect is utterly mesmerising.

HERD (67−68) — The market’s new design studio is run by James, whose great great-​grandfather started Webster’s shoe shop, one of the oldest independent businesses in Brixton. Continuing the theme of old and new, artists Flora and Lily will be using the space to project images of Granville past and present — the fruit of the Memory Exchange project which they ran in the market last month.

Exxmas Forest (82) — Something unexpected happened this week — a forest appeared in the middle of our market! A forest of ex-​Xmas trees, collected around the area and temporarily housed by The Wayward Plant Registry. Come along for a lunchtime forest picnic, with campfire readings, toasted marshmallows, snow and music. (Well, maybe you’ve had enough snow already!) After Saturday, the live trees will be planted out in the grounds of Hill Mead Primary School, round the corner from the market.

Lisette & the Fox (90) — Tahlee’s glamorous vintage boutique is hosting a pop-​up Nail Bar with vintage-​inspired nail art. Come and get yourself decorated! There will be cupcakes.

The Brixton Village Gallery (76) — An exhibition of paintings by Fran, who is based in the artists’ studios above the market. They come from a series exploring the experience of the individual in the city. Fran paints herself being thrown around by the invisible force of the city itself. She’s also been using the space as a workshop during her exhibition, so you’ll get to see her work in progress.

The Wonderful World Of… (79) — So, a lantern-​maker, a furniture-​restorer and a fashion designer start a shop… The result is a magical world of beauty and enchantment. Just to add to the charm, for one day only, they’ll be offering home-​made cakes and cookies while you shop!

The Community Shop (7) — “Where in the world?” Learn about where your food comes from as part of this online mapping project of sustainable food suppliers.

Remade in Brixton (5) — Learn what to do with your leftovers! Bring your food waste for a composting session with Aardvark Recycling, get to spy on a wormery, take the Zero Food Waste quiz. Plus, discover the things you can do with packaging and make your own Tetrapack Wallet!

And finally…

For something completely different, how about starring in a remake of a scene from your favourite 80s movie? If you fancy yourself as Ferris Bueller, now’s your chance. Join Olivia and the Touch It crew for an afternoon of VHS nostalgia at Space Station (41−42). The Be Kind, Rewind-​style remake session starts at 3.30pm. Before that, you can try your hand at making old VHS tapes into notepads and photo frames, while the afternoon will end with a film screening at 5pm.

Be part of something amazing

We can’t think of anywhere you could go in London this weekend and have more fun — so come and join us and be part of the revival of one of London’s distinctive markets. In November, twenty shops were sitting empty in the market. Since then, a wave of new community-​driven businesses and temporary creative projects has turned the space around with their enthusiasm and imagination. We’ve fallen in love with this market and we want to make it work for everyone who can see its magic.

Saturdays are at the heart of that revival — and there’ll be something new and surprising happening every Saturday down here at Brixton Village. Next week, the market goes craft crazy — so come back and bring your friends and your knitting needles!

* Join the market’s Fan Page to get updates about future events and keep in touch with people you meet there!

* Learn more about what’s happening at the market here.

Last day for Brixton Village applications!

Lots of you have already sent in proposals for Brixton Village — and we’re looking forward to reading them all after the application process closes tonight. If you’re still working on yours, you have until midnight to get it to us.

A few people have asked about future opportunities to apply for spaces in the market. The answer is, we’re waiting to see how this first phase goes. We can’t say for sure yet what units might be available in January or further into the New Year, but we’ll still be interested in hearing from anyone with an idea for a space — and we’ll keep you posted about opportunities as soon as they come up.

For now, good luck! And we’ll be in touch with successful projects by Tuesday 24th.