Brixton Market comprises a street market in the centre of Brixton,
south London, and the adjacent covered market areas in nearby arcades
Reliance Arcade, Market Row and Granville Arcade (recently rebranded
The market sells a wide range of foods and goods but is best known for
its African and Caribbean produce, which reflect the diverse community
Brixton and surrounding areas of Lambeth. The Street Market is
managed by the
London Borough of Lambeth. The covered arcades have
always been in private ownership, although substantial public funding
was provided for their refurbishment under the
Brixton Challenge grant
2 The covered market arcades
2.1 Proposed redevelopment of covered market arcades (2008/2009)
2.2 Controversial redevelopment plans for
Brixton Arches (2016/2017)
2.4 Market Roads in Brixton
3 See also
5 External links
The Market began on Atlantic Road in the 1870s and subsequently spread
Brixton Road which had a very wide footway.
Brixton then was a
London railway suburb with newly opening shops,
including the first
London branch of David Greig at 54-58 Atlantic
Road in 1870, and London's first purpose-built department store, Bon
Brixton Road in 1877. The market was a popular
attraction, with shoppers being entertained by street musicians.
Electric Avenue which is now part of the street market was built in
the 1880s and was one of the first streets to have electric light.
Glazed iron canopies covered the footpath, but these were
significantly damaged by WW2 bombs, and finally removed in the 1980s.
The song "Electric Avenue" was written by
Eddy Grant referring to this
area of the market. In 2016,
Electric Avenue was refurbished with
funding from the Mayor of London's High Street Fund, Lambeth Council,
London and the Heritage Lottery fund to include an
illuminated sign celebrating the area's history.
The covered market arcades
The market arcades were built in the 1920s and 1930s when road
Brixton Road forced traders from their established
Reliance Arcade, 455
Brixton Road (c1924) provides a narrow pedestrian
Brixton Road to Electric Lane. It incorporates the original
Georgian house and has a beautiful Egyptian tomb facade to Electric
Lane; it was extended forward by Ernest J Thomas in 1931. Inside there
are small shops no larger than market stalls and a glazed roof provide
Reliance Arcade is Grade II listed, and was added to English
Heritage's Heritage At Risk Register in October 2014.
Market Row, 40 - 44 Atlantic Road was designed by Andrews and Peascod
in 1928. It was built in the back yards of existing premises and links
Atlantic Road, Coldharbour Lane and Electric Lane. The interior is
double-height and windows in the roof provide light.
Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane was built as Granville Arcade in
1937 to designs of Alfred and Vincent Burr; the developer was Mr
Granville-Grossman. It was opened by actor
Carl Brisson on 6 May 1937.
It has an interior of narrow covered streets called 'Avenues', and is
double-height, similar to Market Row. There are over 100 shops. It
links Coldharbour Lane, Atlantic Road and Popes Road.
The three market arcades in close proximity, forming an extensive
network of stalls, are rare survivals and their special character is
what marks out
Brixton as distinctive from other suburban shopping
centres: a mixture of history, interesting architecture, the variety
of goods on sale and the cultural mix of Brixton, known as the
symbolic 'soul of black Britain'.
Since 2011 the shops in
Brixton Village and, more recently, Market Row
and Reliance Arcade have increasingly converted into cafes and
restaurants, serving a wide range of different cuisines.  As a
result, they are now open 8am – 11.30pm every day except Monday,
when they shut at 6pm. 
Proposed redevelopment of covered market arcades (2008/2009)
In 2007 Market Row and
Brixton Village were sold along with the other
London market interests of APL Ocean Ltd to
London & Associated
Properties. In 2008, the new owners released proposals to redevelop
Brixton Village covered market.
The proposal included the removal of the existing building and the
building of a 10-story privately owned residential tower block and
private park, above a new market building.
In January 2009
London and Associated Properties employed
communications company Four Communications to undertake a survey of
local opinion. Concerns were raised on the
Brixton Community website
Urban 75 that the survey was one sided, only available in English.
Brixton Market, traders and residents ran a successful
campaign against the proposals.
Paul Bakalite's proposal for Listing was strongly supported by the
Twentieth Century Society. In April 2010 the Secretary of State of the
Department of Culture (DCMS) announced that the government had
overturned its previous decision not award heritage protection to
these three arcades and declared all three Grade II listed buildings.
They were listed by virtue of their cultural importance and
contribution to the social and economic history of Brixton,
particularly since the 1950s as one of the principal hearts of the
Afro-Caribbean community in London, as well as for their architectural
importance since such arcades, once more common, are now rare.
Controversial redevelopment plans for
Brixton Arches (2016/2017)
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In 2015, Network Rail contacted the merchants trading from the
commercial premises located under the railway arches on Atlantic Road
indicating plans to close those premises for a year for
refurbishment as part of the
Brixton Central masterplan for
redevelopment of the area. This led to public outcry from traders,
many of whom had been occupying their retail space for decades,
claiming that this closure was an excuse to hike the rent as they
would be able to come back to occupy the same space, but with a 350%
increase to their rent. The traders and community launched the
Brixton Arches campaign, which fed into the
anti-gentrification movement already underway within the Brixton
community and culminated in a protest at the local council meeting
where community activists declared the "death of Brixton" after the
plans were approved. In 2017, the majority of the arches traders
ceased trading and hoardings were installed over the empty premises,
but development has stalled due to complications involving the leases
of two of the arches tenants.
Sir John Major
Market Roads in Brixton
Brixton Station Road www.brixtonmarket.net
New Covent Garden Market
Brixton railway station
Coordinates: 51°27′43″N 0°06′50″W / 51.462°N
0.114°W / 51.462; -0.114
Brixton Conservation Area Statement" (PDF).
London Borough of
Lambeth. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved
17 September 2011.
^ "Music legend
Eddy Grant lights up Brixton's Electric Avenue". South
London Press. Archived from the original on 2017-10-04.
^ Rayner, Jay (9 October 2011). "Restaurant review
Time Out. London. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
London and Associated Property's proposals for Brixton
Village[permanent dead link]
^ Friends of
Brixton Market campaign to save
Brixton Village Archived
31 January 2009 at Archive.is
^ a b "Police called as council meeting hit by protests over Brixton's
Brixton Central Masterplan".
Brixton Arches businesses caught in London's tide of
^ "Network Rail are not interested in the future of Brixton".
^ "Brixton's anti-gentrification protest: identifying the problems is
one thing, fixing them is another".
Brixton Arches development "hopelessly stalled" with Brixton's
'Dead Zone' here to stay".