6 FEATURE London Chat By Roger Mills

Before anything else could I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a New Year free of politicians. Well we can only hope...

Romford’s Retailery not closing

Romford’s ‘Retailery’ is, i ts publ ici ty reckons, a playground for makers, thinkers and doers, and is home to a selection of the finest independent start-up businesses, and food outlets to the heart of the borough. This thriving, community

led space in Romford’s Market Place not only champions entrepreneurship but also gives a place to relax. Initially funded by the

Greater London Authority and Havering Council, The Retailery is the brainchild of Things Made Public CIC (TMP), a Romford based cultural regeneration agency dedicated to improving towns

through innovative projects that use culture, creativity and entrepreneurship as a vehicle for change. Well that’s been the case

up till recently when TMP announced that they will be walking away. Their reason? Havering Council refused to give them Business Rates relief. This brought a swi f t

response form Counci l Leader Damian White who said: “The Council is a huge champion of diverse local business and leisure spaces like the Retailery and there are no plans to close it! “Up to now, Things Made

Public have been operating this space on behalf of the Council and because of GLA funding, have had it rent and rates free.” On the mat ter of rates

he was clear: “The fact is our hands are tied. As a responsible local authority looking after public money, we can only offer such relief

to recognised and registered charities. “Unfortunately the Charity

Commi s s i o n de eme d that Things Made Public did not meet their criteria for charitable status and therefore we cannot give them the Business Rates relief that recognised charities are able to receive. “I understand the Retailery

is a great asset to Romford town centre and I’m pleased it’s become such an important place in so many residents’ lives. I want to reassure residents and businesses that the Council will do everything we can to find an alternative operator to keep the Retailery open.” The Council says it is now

looking for a new operator who will be able to ensure the Retailery can afford to pay the rent and business rates and will protect the current businesses housed in the Retailery, as well as providing a space for new ones to grow.

MARKET TRADER, DECEMBER 21, 2018 - JANUARY 3, 2019 For ‘The Chat’ no matter

what the council says it’s just another example of the sheer foolhardiness of giving massive subsidies to this sort of start-up without thought for their future sustainability.

North End Xmas

In another of it programme of traffic free specials North End Road Christmas Market was slated to take place on Saturday 15 December. Punters were promised a

festive fun-land with more than 150 stalls of seasonal food, drinks and gi f ts including arts and craf ts, clothing, fashion accessories and more. Santa was also paying

a visit to the market with his grotto situated at Credit Union, on the corner of Coomer Place, alongside a packed line-up of street entertainment and live music. A trader welcoming the

event was Aki Iwai, founder of Axelina Productions, who designs tee-shirts, cards and tote bags with characters from the children’s book he is currently writing Fulham resident and

ent repreneur Aki Iwai doesn’t have far to go for the Christmas market as he lives on North End Road and has been taking part in the traffic- free markets for the last three years. And in honour of the

occasion he has created some Christmas cards for this year’s market which feature an otter and a bear, who star in his book, but he is still undecided on the names for the two characters. And he warmly welcomed

the latest event ; “The Christmas markets are a great occasion for all the family. I can’t wait for this year’s market. “The markets have helped

me to show the public my work and understand what people like. It’s a great event for local entrepreneurs starting a new business.” The l ine-up of st reet

per forme r s promi sed include the return of crowd-

Like many old established market sites Enfield’s is looked over by the Parish Church

Unit 2, Riverside Business Park, Moffat Street, Glasgow G5 0PD.


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