Elephant and Castle trader relocation panel established

Southwark Council and Delancey have agreed a framework for a Trader Relocation Panel, which has been established to support the relocation of existing businesses from the Elephant and Castle shopping centre. This collaborative organisation will be responsible for overseeing and monitoring the relocation process up to the shopping centre closing.

The Panel will be chaired by local Labour Ward councillor, Cllr Darren Merrill. He will be joined by Liberal Democrat Ward councillor, Cllr Maria Linforth-Hall, five representatives from the independent businesses and two representatives from Delancey. Council officers will also be invited to attend meetings and Tree Sheppard will continue to provide business support services to all independent businesses seeking to relocate

A spokesperson from Delancey said: “As a long-term investor it is vitally important to us that Elephant and Castle as an area continues to thrive as a destination with a dynamic mix of shops, including the existing independent and local businesses. This will be key to creating a unique sense of place that attracts people to the area both now and in the future, long after the new town centre has been delivered.

“Establishing the Trader Relocation Panel is a critical milestone in the delivery of the new town centre, and we have worked diligently with Southwark Council and the tenants to put in place a strategy that ensures a fair and transparent process throughout. We now look forward to putting this into practice and to giving these businesses the certainty and security they need to plan their future in Elephant and Castle.”

The Trader Relocation Panel will hold an oversight and monitoring role during the implementation of the Relocation Strategy and will be responsible for the following:

  • Maximising the opportunities the future town centre will provide to local businesses;
  • Liaising with all stakeholders involved in the bidding and allocation process of affordable retail units within the Elephant and Castle area, and in the future town centre; and
  • Providing input from the local retail businesses on the process for applying to Southwark Council for funding from the Relocation Fund

It will continue to maintain a monitoring role in the implementation of the relocation of the businesses during and after the closure of the shopping centre. The Trader Panel will update members on progress around the different support measures in place, including:

  • Regular updates on a database of available, vacant retail premises;
  • The distribution of payments from the Relocation Fund; and
  • The relocation of these businesses to alternative affordable premises in the area.

The Trader Relocation Panel will also provide a forum to discuss relevant issues which result from the closure of the shopping centre that could affect local businesses.

The first meeting will take place on 15th November, and will follow monthly thereafter until three months after the centre has been demolished. They will then take place quarterly until six months after completion of the new shops and restaurants in the newly delivered town centre.

The Trader Relocation Panel will bolster the additional support that is already being provided to tenants. Measures include regular group and one-on-one tenant meetings, tours of all affordable retail relocation options, regular communications through tenant memos and newsletters and marketing support to drive footfall and awareness of these retailers.

Alongside the creation of the Trader Relocation Panel, Diana Broomby has been appointed as Community Director of Elephant and Castle Town Centre by the owners of the shopping centre to work alongside the existing team and further implement onsite liaison and communication with traders and the wider local community.

Southwark Council has also appointed independent business advisor, Tree Shepherd, who will continue to provide impartial business development support.