Could £1 million windfall breathe new life into Queen’s Crescent Market?
Make sure local people are involved in how money is spent, council urged
16 March, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
THE Town Hall has been told that a £1.1million cheque set aside to do up Queen’s Crescent must be spent wisely.
Camden won a bidding war with other local authorities to secure the money from the Greater London Authority. There is hope that the investment could breathe new life into one of the city’s oldest street markets.
Labour regeneration chief Councillor Danny Beales said: “This could mean better streets, better areas for pedestrians, better seating, better lighting. “The next stage will be to have further conversations with people living there and community groups about how we spend it. There are a lot of people interested in the area and we will decide the priorities over the summer.”
City Hall stumped up the cash from its Good Growth Fund – grants which have to be spent on infrastructure schemes by 2021. The future of Queen’s Crescent Market has been the subject of fierce debate after the once-thriving shopping destination saw a fall in customer numbers. Until three years ago, it was managed by Queen’s Crescent Community Association but, after being taken back in-house by the Town Hall, many regulars say the market is suffering.
Cllr Beales said: “Markets have had a fairly tough time across London as shopping trends have changed, but we have all the right ingredients to make it work. We will make the market dynamic and prosperous again.” Reclaim Queen’s Crescent, a campaign group lobbying to improve the market and other services in the neighbourhood, has cautiously welcomed the windfall.
Member Val Stevenson said: “The destruction of our market has been pronounced. When it was run by Queen’s Crescent Community Association, it was thriving. But the council took it on and has run it into the ground. The award says local people must be involved in the regeneration plans, but there is some wariness about how much we will be listened to after our experience with the market.”
She added that many in the neighbourhood would like to see cash spent on finding space for small, independent businesses and smartening up streets.
“The council knows all this already,” she added. “We are hoping this award can help restore the relationship between the Town Hall and people who live and work here and we can all work to improve the Crescent together.”