Traders hopeful after new owner takes over at Shepherd’s Bush Market and waives outstanding rent payments

By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter

Shepherd’s Bush Market traders are feeling “hopeful” after the west London destination was bought by a new owner.

For an unknown price, a 75.5 per cent stake in the market land has been bought by a joint venture between developer Yoo Capital and an investor, Astarte Capital Partners.

One of their first actions has been to waive traders’ outstanding rent payments from March to October.

The remaining 24.5 per cent remains with U+I Group, which had been unwilling to commit to cancelling traders’ rents, despite months of lockdown and lower footfall.

James Horada, chairman of the Shepherd’s Bush Market Tenants Association, said the news that rents were no longer due was “very helpful”.

“We’re hopeful about Yoo Capital,” said Mr Horada, who works at his grandfather’s textiles shop.

“So far the people we have met seem to be understanding of the situation.

“The traders have had a hard time with how things have gone. A lot of them have had their reservations.

“This has been a good note to start on. We’re hopeful Yoo Capital are going to be sympathetic and a professional company who understand the importance of the market traders.”

The 106-year-old market has more than 100 traders among its pitches and railway arches beneath the Hammersmith and City line.

Yoo Capital and Hammersmith and Fulham council have also signalled that new homes could be built on an adjoining parcel of land between the market and Goldhawk Road, called the Old Laundry Yard.

Council leader Stephen Cowan said: “I’m confident Yoo Capital will invest and work collaboratively to ensure market traders thrive and prosper, and that new, genuinely affordable homes and workspaces are built on the adjacent Old Laundry Yard site.

“I look forward to working with them and local people to deliver those results.”

The company has £2 billion invested in property and other assets around the UK, including Olympia London, which will be redeveloped with a new cinema, theatre and music venue.

Yoo Capital’s chairman, John Hitchcox, said: “We are excited to be entering into a new era with Shepherd’s Bush Market.

“The last few months have taken their toll on businesses large and small and we look forward to investing in the market and the wider area to ensure that they come back stronger than ever.”

Pictured top: James Horada, chairman of Shepherd’s Bush Market Tenants’ Association

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