Hondo recognises that Brixton Market plays a huge part in the lives of thousands of people and is integral to what makes Brixton home. We are committed to protecting this community asset for many years to come. In stark contrast to the false and appalling allegations circulating on social media that Taylor, and Hondo Enterprises, “don’t care about the community”, in fact, nearly £2 million has been spent on the infrastructure at the market, making sure that local traders can continue to work there. Brixton Market now has free space available for community groups and charities across the week, including a permanent space for a local food bank. Hondo have a positive relationship with the vast majority of traders with over 60 signing new affordable deals over the last year and all traders being offered three months free rent during this difficult economic period.
We recognise everyone has a right to protest, but it should be peaceful and based on fact. Notice had to be issued so that an electrical substation could be built. But Taylor, and Hondo, do not want Nour to leave the market. To that end, we are building a new unit for them to go into, on favourable terms. We very much hope they decide to remain part of the market.
For this, Taylor has received death threats, friends have been harassed and attacked online. Attention has been drawn from the biggest challenge the retail and hospitality industry has ever faced.
There is a very good reason that a new electrical substation has to be put in. As we have previously made clear, Brixton Market has had an issue with insufficient power for many years with a number of tenants reporting prolonged power cuts. Hondo has been unable to meet the requests of a number of existing tenants to upgrade their power and upgrades requested for new units as the existing UKPN infrastructure to the market is at its capacity. The lack of power is stifling the market, obstructing vacant units from being occupied. These empty units have a large negative impact on footfall, preventing the market from sufficiently servicing traders and therefore the community.
The attached statement details how Hondo worked with UKPN to upgrade the power supply. As detailed in the attached after exhausting other options, UKPN set out various stringent conditions to design the new substation:
- Adequate useable floor space and headroom (4.7m wide (to the roadside) x 4.0m deep x 2.5m high for the substation (as UKPNs drawingEDS07-3102.20 B) and 5.0m long x 2.0m deep LV Switchroom.
- Security against unauthorised entry.
- Unrestricted 24hr access.
- Natural ventilation to remove heat from the substation.
- Located adjacent an external wall.
- Suitable access for the safe installation and replacement of substation equipment.
- Access for cables.
In our search for a suitable site, we found that these conditions are not easily fulfilled, especially in a listed heritage operating market. Following an extensive review UKPN confirmed that the requirements for a 2.5m headroom and direct access from the road would preclude any other location and thereby confirmed the rear of unit 23 location (Nour’s unit).
Despite this, in order to retain Nour, we looked at a number of possibilities culminating in Hondo agreeing to pay for a large purpose-built unit for them in the Brixton Village Market. The application for this new unit, which was submitted in December, has been approved and the current offer put to Nour meets all their most up to date requirements, including lower rent than they are currently on. We sincerely hope they sign the long-term affordable deal that is currently with them, so they can remain within Brixton Market.