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An Update from: Community Wealth Building

April 21st, 2023

Wards Corner Community Benefit Society

Community Wealth Building has been central to Ubele’s strategic objective in strengthening our communities through enterprise and asset development. As part of this objective, Phil Tulba, Assistant Director for Community Wealth Building, has been leading our work on the Gida Housing Co-operative which was set up in 2021 in direct response to the poor quality of private rented housing experienced by black and minoritised communities in Tottenham and across London. Working in partnership with Rode Housing and Bahay Kubo Housing Association, we are expecting to be invited to tender to secure 56 plots on the St Ann’s Hospital Site in Tottenham which we will submit by the 10th of May 2023. As part of our commitment to Community Wealth Building, Phil Tulba has joined the board of the Wards Corner Community Benefit Society (CBS). Led by the local people, the CBS aims to secure a community asset of cultural and economic significance for racially minoritised communities in Tottenham, for which Ubele is supporting them.

Wards Corner CBS was set up in 2022 by grassroots groups and campaign organisations to save the Wards Corner site from demolition. Its aim is to protect the cultural heritage of the site and foster local economic growth. The Wards Corner Site is home to the Seven Sisters Indoor Market, known locally as the Latin Village. This is an important retail and cultural hub for Latin American Communities and has been under threat of demolition for over 20 years. In 2002, Haringey Council designated the site for regeneration, with Grainger, a large build-to-rent developer, selected in 2004 as their preferred partner. Grainger’s plans would have seen the demolition of the entire block and gentrification of the area, placing residents at risk of displacement. The significance of the site to the economic, social and cultural rights of minority communities was recognised by United Nations human rights experts in 2017, who warned of the disproportionate impact this plan would have on these communities. For over two decades, the local community have come together to save the site from demolition.

Since Grainger withdrew their plans for redevelopment in 2021, Transport for London, the building’s owners, will be inviting groups to bid on the future of the site. This is an opportunity for traders and residents in Tottenham to restore a listed historic building and market for the benefit of the community. Wards Corner CBS will submit their Community Plan, which if successful will secure a long-term lease of the market. As the CBS is owned and run by the local community, the Community Plan is supported by market traders, local businesses, residents, and community groups. Based on the tenets of Community Wealth Building, the Wards Conner Community Plan aims to improve trading space, celebrate and protect the identify and culture of the market, generate enough income to keep rent low and reinvest in local community projects. Any surplus generated from the restored building will be reinvested into Community Wealth Building initiatives in Tottenham.

For more details, please contact the Team.

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