Statement from Newham Council on Stratford Market Village

Since the sudden closure of Stratford Market Village on 10 January, we have been advocating and negotiating to find a resolution.

That would enable the 60 traders whose livelihoods were snatched away overnight to trade again in this unique market that has brought so much to the Stratford economy and diverse communities over the years.

We explored every means at our disposal to seek the reopening of the market.  This included considering whether the council could take over a lease as was proposed by Unex, the property landlords. In the context of the tightest financial environment for local authorities across the country, it was simply not possible to take on the additional financial exposure.  

But as a Council with community wealth building at its heart, we could not give up and have continued to work with the traders and explored with wider partners what could be done to prevent the threat to more than 100 local jobs and 60 thriving businesses, and the permanent loss of an asset that reflects so many of the strengths and the vibrancy of our communities.

So at its meeting on Tuesday 2 April, Newham Cabinet will be considering a proposal to enter into a 15-year lease and unlock the reopening of the Market Village. 

This has only been made possible because of an agreement reached to move £700k funding from Newham’s existing allocation from the GLA Good Growth Fund which was no longer required to deliver the full outputs of another scheme and was therefore going to be returned to the GLA.  This funding will substantially underwrite the council’s risks for the first year of a 15-year lease that Unex have now offered with a break clause after one year.  This significantly reduces the risk to general fund resources which are needed to support essential council services. The 15-year lease comes with a one-year break clause which means the Council can terminate the contract. If the rent levels underperform the council will have to exercise the break clause.  The council will also be able to decide whether to operate the market itself or seek to assign the lease to another market operator throughout its life.

Samantha Scott, owner of GT Spice Caribbean Takeaway in Stratford Market Village commented:” I have no words to explain how overwhelmed and relieved that someone took us seriously and we can hopefully reopen soon. We are so glad to be back.”

Angie and Ali Akbas, owners of Centre Café, added:” We are absolutely ecstatic about the market reopening soon. It means so much to regain our business of over 20 years back and be able to connect with our customers which we have missed over the past three stressful months.”

Subject to Cabinet approval, the council will work swiftly and closely with the traders to enable Stratford Market Village to reopen for business as soon as possible.





Published: 27 Mar 2024