You may remember last August that plans for a market in Woolwich were announced. The Wool Yard would contain food stalls and small office space above. Alongside that were great looking plans to animate and enliven the public realm.

Unfortunately not much has been heard since from the operators, who are also behind Pop in Brixton.

It appears that the land they planned to use behind Iceland has been sold. This could well be due to the recent announcement that 56 Woolwich Town Centre shops were purchased by British Land.

Since Wool Yard was announced Street Feast have opened in the covered market and appear to be doing incredibly well.

So is there a need for Wool Yard? I’d say so but it will need to differentiate itself. It’s trickier to get people down that to their planned spot off Powis Street, though in coming months more housing developments will complete in the area including Callis Yard and Berkeley developments such as Pavillion Square.

Callis Yard tower on right

Street Feast is also only open on weekends at the moment which could help, and Wool Yard also has low cost office and working units on the first floor.

And then there’s the plans for other passages off Powis Street such as Macbean Street and Bernard Close that need a bit of love.

Improving these spaces could do wonders for the town and bring many punters to market stalls.

Markets here, markets there

This site seems to have spent half the time recently covering markets. Just this past week a new initiative at Beresford Square in Woolwich and yesterday plans for a market at Plumstead’s former power station.

The success of Street Feast shows why many are looking to interesting and varied markets to enliven town centres. The traditional High Street model is not in the best of health right now.

One way to re-invigorate town centres is to create places people can socialise and mingle. Where better than over food and drink?

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