Group claims offer for Seven Sisters Indoor Market is financially viable, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
A local development trust has insisted its plan to restore a market building is financially viable after a housing scheme was abandoned.
The chair of N15 Development Trust revealed it is in “productive conversations” with ethical investors in the hopes of securing funding for its ‘community plan’ for Seven Sisters Indoor Market.
It comes after property firm Grainger dropped its plan for 196 homes at the site in Wards Corner, Seven Sisters, citing “legal challenges” and “significant delays” to the scheme.
Seven Sisters Indoor Market, also called ‘Latin Village’, remained closed after the lifting of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions because of health and safety issues with the Edwardian building. The community plan, which would see the building refurbished and provide an expanded market alongside extra community facilities, has already won the backing of Haringey Council leader Peray Ahmet.
The development trust, which was set up to represent local residents, businesses and community groups, hopes to secure a 999-year affordable lease of the market building from its owner, Transport for London.
It claims renovation work would cost £12.9million, according to an estimate it has obtained from surveyors. The trust hopes to finance this using £6m of grant funding, £6m of ethical investment, and £1m of community shares – but it says the scheme would be viable even without grant funding if loans were repaid over 42 years.
Using surplus rents, the development trust also hopes to set up a fund to support community projects in Tottenham.
Carlos Burgos, chair of the N15 Development Trust, said: “The trust is currently engaged in productive conversations with several ethical investors, including banks, and is moving towards interim head of terms. The trust is also seeking specialist advice to develop a community share offer via the Mayor of London/CooperativesUK Boosting Community Business programme.
“Initial discussions with grant funders have been positive, highlighting the potential to secure up to 50% grant funding for the project. A bespoke financial model built for the trust by Altair demonstrates the potential for the project to generate a multimillion-pound fund for reinvestment in further community initiatives within Tottenham.
“This is a financial model which leverages investment unavailable to mainstream developers and is growing in popularity with funders, banks and investors as a preferable alternative to deliver social, environmental and financial returns from development projects.”
Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, said the organisation wanted to see market traders able to operate safely again as soon as possible.
He added: “We are aware that some of the traders at the market have expressed the desire for a community plan for the site, including a market. No decisions have been made as of yet for the long-term leasehold of the site, and we continue to engage with traders, the local community and stakeholders to find a solution that works for the parties involved.”