Brixton is world renowned for its extraordinary character, rich diversity and heritage. Brixton is famed for its independent retail, hospitality, night time economy and a rich cultural offer. Today, emerging sectors include growing creative industries and social impact clusters.
Innovative new spaces such as Pop Brixton are bringing new commercial space to an area where demand outstrips supply. Community pride has always been strong in Brixton, and more recent initiatives include the Brixton Pound and the UK’s first national black heritage centre, the Black Cultural Archives.
At Lambeth Council we recognise the importance of this moment to embrace demand for growth, whilst retaining value and the independent character of Brixton. So, in consultation with stakeholders from across community we are leveraging our local land ownership to drive major developments and public realm improvements that bring inclusive growth benefits. We also welcome developers and businesses to Brixton who want to contribute to seeing it flourish.
See below to find out more about what’s here already, what’s on the way and how you can be part of Brixton’s future.
Recent years have seen a growing cluster of creative and digital businesses, particularly in shared workspaces such as Piano House and Impact Hub Brixton. There is increasing demand for more high quality office space to allow for expansions. Annual events such as Brixton Design Trail are creating new business networks, fostering collaborations and highlighting the work of local artists, designers and creative organisations.
Food and drink
Undeniably, one of Brixton’s highlights is its rich and varied food and drink offer. The famous covered market arcades of Brixton Village and Market Row, a number of street markets and range of restaurants and cafes provide Brixton with a fusion of flavours from all around the world. Food success stories including Franco Manca and Honest Burgers were founded in Brixton village, and have gone to scale.
Pop Brixton, a temporary project delivered in partnership between Make Shift and Lambeth Council has turned vacant land into a thriving destination for new businesses, community projects and affordable workspace. Meeting the local demand for space and fostering new networks, Pop Brixton is home to over 200 businesses including food and drink, retail, design, social enterprises and a youth radio station.
Night Time Economy
Brixton has long been on the map as a night time destination. The renowned Ritzy Cinema opened in 1911 and the world famous Brixton Academy, opened in 1929, heading a thriving live music and nightclub scene which includes The Electric, Phonox, The Dogstar, The Windmill, and many others. Since the late 1940s, Brixton has been home to a significant afro-caribbean population who made Brixton famous for ska, reggae and R&B; constantly celebrated through events and exhibitions at The Black Cultural Archives. The Somerleyton Road development will provide a new home to the Oval House Theatre, further adding to Brixton’s night time offer.
Brixton’s retail offer is made up of a significant number of high-street stores balanced with an eclectic mix of independent businesses, reflecting the diversity of its residents. With a number of both outdoor and indoor markets, Brixton has a unique pull to shoppers from both within and outside of the community. Constantly innovating, the markets and projects like Pop Brixton allow start up retailers to test their offer before investing long term.
Like many towns around the UK, Brixton’s residents are displaying an increasing appetite for businesses and projects that prioritise social value. Examples include Brixton Cycles, The Remakery and Impact Hub, alongside initiatives including the Brixton Pound, Brixton Energy and Brixton Transition Town.
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
Brixton BID – Brixton’s not for profit Business Improvement District organisation provide a range of business support services and access to local networks including a business club for SMEs. All businesses locating in the area benefit from services provided by Brixton BID.
Brixton Design Trail is an annual festival and an ongoing network of local creative businesses.
The council wants to bring forward more commercial space within Brixton. More day-time workers within the area will help to support Brixton’s fantastic retail, food and drink and evening economy. A vibrant regeneration programme in partnership with highly engaged local groups is underway:
Brixton Central is a major area for investment in the heart of Brixton. Encompassing several strategic development sites, the vision will see the town centre extended, new commercial space and 250 new homes, along with major traffic and pedestrian improvements. As a major landowner, Lambeth Council is working with local people on the long-term plans for the sites.
Electric Avenue, London’s first street to be lit by electricity, has benefited from major public realm improvements aimed at boosting trade, making it easier for local people to shop and increasing visitors to the town centre; thanks to investment from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund and Lambeth Council. Upgrades to amenities such as power and water supply points have also provided improved infrastructure for market traders.
Making Brixton the new civic heart of Lambeth, the Your New Town Hall development is part of Lambeth’s Future Brixton project. The scheme will bring Lambeth’s town hall back to former glory, preserving its features and making it more open and accessible to residents, whilst building a new Civic Centre. The move will reduce Lambeth Council’s core office buildings from fourteen to two, saving at least £4.5m a year, as well as becoming an exemplar in energy efficiency. The development also includes 194 new homes, with 40% affordable, and new outdoor public spaces, due for completion in 2018.
Co-designed by future residents, another strand of the Future Brixton project will see Somerleyton Road in central Brixton transformed into a thriving community hub. Leveraging external investment and led by Lambeth Council as landowners with partners Brixton Green and Ovalhouse Theatre, the developments will include over 300 new homes, a theatre, a nursery and a school for budding chefs and increased commercial space.
LJ Works will be a new campus-style enterprise hub on the edge of Brixton town centre, based at Loughborough Junction. Lambeth Council, with funding from the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund, are working with local stakeholders and business support organisations to develop the site. Offering a variety of affordable workspace, shared and commercial kitchen facilities, studios, makerspaces and co-working, the project will create 20,000 sq ft of employment space.
Squire and Partners architectural practice are moving their 250-strong team to Brixton from Kings Cross, marking the first large professional services organisation to relocate to the town centre. Converting a prominent former department store for their head office, the development also contains a new ground floor restaurant and a refurbishment of the former Fire Station and Stables, providing a new location for Brixton Post Office and three units for local creative businesses.
Get in touch
If your business is interested in development or locating in Lambeth, please click below to complete an enquiry form. We look forward to hearing from you.