Local trainee journalist Eleanor Donajgrodzki has written an article about our campaign to save Leather Lane:

A group of local architects have started a campaign to publicise and rejuvenate Leather Lane Market.

Working alongside the market traders and local shop owners, the eight architects have set up a stall selling merchandise, organised events and created a blog in order to draw attention to the market’s decline.

‘The Leather Lane Stars’ campaign, named after the traders and those that work in the local shops, came about because the group were worried about their local market. “We’ve been watching the market decline and have always wanted to do something about it, and we’ve finally got an opportunity” said Richard Brown, one of the campaigners.

The campaigners are hoping to bring about a number of changes, including making Leather Lane a car-free road, extending trading hours and improving advertising. “We’re trying to raise awareness”, said Amanda Rashid, another campaigner, “We’ve been making bags, flags and badges to sell”.

The team, most of whom work at Ash Sakula Architects on Hatton Wall, organised a meeting yesterday evening (21/09/2011) with Camden Council leaders including Richard Williams, Head of Trader Services, to discuss ways in which to improve the market. ‘They were helpful. There were a lot of different ideas about how markets can work better’, said Richard Brown.

Once a major shopping destination for workers from nearby offices, the market has been badly affected by the economic downturn and competition from surrounding supermarkets. “The recession was the last of many nails that have been driven in to this coffin”, said Tim Driscoll, Chairman of Leather Lane Market Traders Association. Paul McQuillan’s flower stall has been in his family for five generations, “We won’t last much longer” he said.