SBMIf there was one place in Lon­don, I could dir­ect you to, to sig­ni­fy the cul­tur­al diversity in West Lon­don it would be Shep­herds Bush Mar­ket loc­ated by the rail­way via­duct. It first opened in 1914 mak­ing it over 100 years old mak­ing it an integ­ral part of the loc­al area. I spent a lot of time here dur­ing my child­hood, here amongst Eng­lish, Asi­ans, Arabs, Afric­ans and Carib­beans, it was always very diverse and vibrant which holds a spe­cial place in my heart. It showed me there could be a place of diversity where every­one is accep­ted. There are over 100 stalls and many of these shops have been passed down fam­il­ies from gen­er­a­tions to gen­er­a­tions. A diverse range of goods fam­ous for its hab­er­dash­ery but also selling house­hold goods to exot­ic fruits and the best falafel I’ve ever had, because everything you can pur­chase here is authen­t­ic.

This used to be the spot to buy good for the BBC until the Tele­vi­sion Centre in white City closed, this coupled with the effect of West­field shop­ping centre open­ing up just a short walk away, busi­ness has been greatly effects. The mar­ket has been facing an ongo­ing struggle with gentri­fic­a­tion with prop­erty developers try­ing to obtain the land to build lux­ury flats.DBM1

The Shep­herds Bush Mar­ket Ten­ants’ Asso­ci­ation (SBMTA) was set up in the 1950’s and rep­res­ents over 90% of the ten­ants, pro­tect­ing their interests and ensur­ing the mar­ket is run appro­pri­ately. Unfor­tu­nately, the pre­vi­ous land­lord of the mar­ket (TFL) sold their interest to prop­ter developers who have since attemp­ted many under­han­ded ways to force ten­ants out of busi­ness to sell and make way for res­id­en­tial hous­ing. Developers (known as U+I Group Plc) have breached trader lease terms and agree­ments, over­charged strug­gling traders for ser­vice charges and opened a com­pet­ing area of busi­ness very close by which dir­ectly fin­an­cially affects busi­ness of the exist­ing mar­ket. This has had a great toil of emo­tion­al and phys­ic­al stress on the busi­ness hold­ers and is noth­ing short of bul­ly­ing.

Speak­ing to one of the loc­al shop keep­ers who has been in the mark­er for over thirty years I was told, ‘We don’t get told a lot of inform­a­tion and it has been a very stress­ful to con­stantly fight to keep our busi­nesses not know­ing what will hap­pen next. Quite a few of our friends, oth­er stall hold­ers have left the mar­ket, it’s not what it used to be’.

The busi­ness own­ers refuse to give in without a fight and have chal­lenged the developers in the Court of Appeal. They have appoin­ted soli­cit­ors to defend them­selves and demand they be treated fairly and have the money have been over­charged paid back to them in full. They can do afford to do this alone as leg­al fees are very high, there­fore this fun­drais­ing page has been set up to help cov­er the costs of ongo­ing leg­al battle.

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Breakin’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.