Brixton Market has been serving the people of south London for about 140 years. Run by the traders who work there, it’s a special place and an important hub for locals of all stripes. Although bits of it have been tarted up and spawned successful food chains like Franco Manca, the rest of the indoor and outdoor space is still one of the best places in London to pick up fish, fruit and African and Caribbean specials. It was successfully defended from redevelopment in 2010 – but could its future now could be uncertain?
Last month the market was put up for sale, and the lead bidder (it’s reported) is Sports Direct. The budget sportswear mega-brand already owns a swathe of central Brixton, and according to the Retail Gazette it’s poised to buy the market too. The price quoted last month was £30 million – fairly small change to a company with annual profits of almost ten times that. (Sports Direct has made no comment on the reports.)
There is one other potential buyer that we know of: a community group calling itself My Tribe Village, which has launched a Crowdfunder page called ‘Buy Back Brixton’, aiming to raise £46,578,480. Sadly, that target may be a little too ambitious. But it’s clear that Brixton won’t take kindly to anyone who tries to bring the market’s 140-year history to a close.