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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Stratford Market Village officially reopens

An East London market home to over 60 independent businesses has reopened to the public after it closed for several months because the previous company running the site went into administration. Back in January of this year, traders working at Stratford Market Village at Stratford Shopping Centre in Newham, were forced to suddenly leave their units because Stratford Market Properties Limited (SMPL), the company which had the lease, had gone into administration.

A petition was launched a few days later by trader Samantha Scott of GT Spice Caribbean Takeaway which called on the landlord, Unex Group Holdings Limited, to reopen Market Village. The sudden closure of the market wasn’t just a shock to the traders who were trying to stay financially afloat while their livelihoods were in limbo, but also for the local community who had been shopping there for decades.

Following cabinet approval in April, Newham Council stepped in and entered a 15-month lease and the market officially reopened on Wednesday (1 May). The council secured £700,000 in funding from the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Good Growth Fund which will be used to support the operating costs of Market Village.

Muhammad Awais Amjad, who owns AEG Technologies LTD, previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) in April that the four month closure had been one of the ‘toughest things’ he’s faced in his life. He said at the time: “Once you get your only source of income taken away from you abruptly, I cannot begin to explain how it feels really, it was probably one of the toughest times I’ve [experienced].

“I’m 36 years old, I’m relatively young but it’s been the toughest thing I’ve faced in my life so far.” He added: “It’s been a real, real struggle. There were times I didn’t want to leave my house, you go into some form of depression. But going through this as a group [of traders], it’s brought all of us together and we’ve become a family now, it’s like one unit.”

The council is encouraging local residents and shoppers to visit the market to support the traders as they come back to work after suffering ‘great losses during the market closure’. Stratford Market Village is open from 9am to 6.30pm on Monday through to Saturday and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

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