'Everyone wants us to move': Archway Market plans Navigator Square relocation
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 December 2017
Archway Market is planning a permanent move into the newly pedestrianised town centre.
For most of its 12-year history, the market has been at the top end of Holloway Road.
Now it wants to relocate to the site of the former gyratory, which after a public vote has been named Navigator Square in honour of Archway’s Irish community and the “navvies” who built its roads.
Market founder Stephanie Smith believes the square will give the Saturday market greater visibility. It is currently doing a trial run there and is consulting on a permanent move. A decision is expected to be made by Islington Council in February.
Stephanie said: “I’m confident we’ll be able to move, because we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from businesses, residents and customers.
“Being in the square obviously makes us much more visible. That’s the biggest problem we have in Holloway Road: visibility.
“Whereas in the square, you can’t really miss the market. It’s right by Archway Tube station for a start, and is a destination for people coming from Archway Road, Holloway Road and Junction Road. There are lots more opportunities to see it’s there.”
Archway Market boasts stalls from cheese and veg to ceramics and second-hand books.
Stephanie, who also leads the annual Archway With Words festival, continued: “I’ve been a market trader, on and off, all my life. When I started Archway Market 12 years ago, I was working in Portobello Road but thought: ‘Archway could really do with a market.’ I also wanted to work near where I live.
“I think the market is special, partly because it’s not there every day. It’s part of the appeal and I think it’s a very welcoming place.
“It brings Archway’s small businesses together – and there are lots of brilliant ones in Archway. And I like the idea of customers getting to know the traders. It’s great for our community.
“Moving to the square will really help our traders, because when local people find our traders, they usually like them.”
Meanwhile, Stephanie has also partnered with Elthorne Pride, a community group that champions the Elthorne Estate, for a brilliant scheme giving people the chance to try out trading at the market without having to make any long-term commitment.
See archwaymarket.org for more.