Over the last two years, the council has been meeting regularly with tenants of the Elephant and Castle through a forum called the Shopping Centre Liaison Group. In addition, several other meetings have been held with shop owners from the Walworth Road and the market traders. Throughout 2005 and beyond, the council will increase the number of meetings with local businesses and will try to reach as many as possible that will either be directly or partially affected by the regeneration plans.

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"This is the most exciting development opportunity in Europe. Improving a central London area on this scale will never happen again in our lifetime"
Norman Foster

The importance of local businesses

The importance of local businesses

Southwark Council is 100% committed to supporting and improving local business in the forthcoming major regeneration of Elephant and Castle.

We are proud of the local trading environment and want to assist businesses to take advantage of the range of opportunities that regeneration will create.

 We have adopted a regeneration plan that will create five times the current amount of retail and leisure space, and we have rejected a development model that would favour multinationals instead of small, independent retailers.

We want Elephant and Castle businesses to be able to benefit from local people spending money in the area, instead of spending 90%* of it elsewhere. This will make Elephant and Castle more prosperous by creating more local jobs and encouraging local investment, which will benefit local people.

(*research conducted by Roger Tym and Partners for Southwark Council)

 Our aims

To create a new town revitalised centre

The Elephant and Castle regeneration plan proposes to create a vibrant urban centre with a wide range of small and large shops. This involves re-establishing Walworth Road as a high street along the straight route to the  northern roundabout that was lost when the 1960s development took place. Busy mixed-use shops along the high street will lead up to a busy central  core and major transport interchange. New spaces within bridge viaducts and arches will be created for market stalls and small retailers.

 To support local businesses to manage the process of transition

Early developments on the Walworth Road and in other identified locations will give opportunities for businesses affected by the redevelopment to plan their moves ahead of time. Some of these other sites are already in planning. We are actively working with current businesses and landlords to offer the council’s assistance with this. A shopping centre group has been established and the council continues to hold ongoing meetings for other local businesses. Individual business issues are being assisted through our Business Extra initiative.

 To maintain business and services in the meantime

We all recognise that the current shopping area is outdated and in a state of decline. The businesses are not responsible for this – it is a testimony to their determination that they have survived in such challenging circumstances.

 We are actively working with current businesses and landlords to offer the council’s assistance to guard against the danger of blight. Elephant and Castle wardens patrol the central shopping area. The ‘Elephant Impacts’ environmental improvements programme is addressing public concerns about safety and has introduced architectural lighting to enhance the appearance of Elephant and Castle in the evenings.

 Southwark also remains committed to a combined marketing effort to help maintain the customer appeal of the area right up until the redevelopment programme begins.

 Overall, the council’s intention is to maintain a close and continuing working relationship with all local businesses to ensure the smoothest possible transition, whilst protecting the employment and service bases that they have created.