Mayor Glanville (third from left) and planning boss Cllr Guy Nicholson (fifth from right) celebrate the start of work on the market. Photograph: Hackney Council / Twitter

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville spent the morning on Ridley Road yesterday as work began on major improvements to the historic street market.

Glanville spoke to traders and residents about the £1 million renovation, which will include free public wifi, cashless payment machines and new trees.

The changes are a result of feedback from the council’s Dalston Conversation, a three-year consultation that gathered local views on the area’s development.

   

Ridley Road Market has been a crucial element in Dalston’s make-up since it first opened in the late 19th century.

Glanville said of the planned changes: “We started the Dalston Conversation three years ago with a commitment to listening to the priorities of the community so that we can protect what is most important about Dalston and ensure local people and businesses are the first to benefit.

“This landmark investment shows that we’re not just listening, but acting on what we’ve heard – starting by securing the long-term future of Ridley Road Market to keep it at the heart of Dalston and a focal point in a fair recovery from the pandemic.”

The investment in Ridley Road and nearby Ashwin Street are among the first projects being delivered as part of the Dalston Plan, a redevelopment scheme developed in response to the Dalston Conversation. Consultation on the plan closed at the start of October.

Illustration of what Ridley Road is expected to look like. Image: Hackney Council

But the scheme, which encompasses a number of projects across Dalston, including over 600 new homes in ten opportunity sites across the area, has come in for criticism from local campaigners.

Morning Lane People’s Space (MOPS) and #SaveRidleyRoad say it threatens to price out existing communities, traders and families who have lived and worked in the area for generations.

Guy Nicholson, Hackney’s deputy mayor for housing supply, planning and inclusive economy, joined Glanville on the visit to Ridley Road.

He said: “We know what a special, inclusive place Dalston is and what the area means to local residents and businesses.

“That’s why we set up the Dalston Conversation, a three-year discussion between the local community and the council which saw local stakeholders, businesses and more than 5,000 residents of all ages shape the Dalston Plan.”

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team