„Love the Elephant, hate gentrification.“

Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre is closed after 55 years, opinions of the public vary, those dissatisfied did not let the Elephant go down without roar. 

As a result of gentrification in Southwark, the Shopping Centre established in 1965 was closed on 24 September. At 5 PM, the keys were given to a demolition company, while locals gathered to say goodbye to the Elephant, to protest against gentrification, and support those traders who had to pack and leave what had been the place where many of them had worked for years. A multitude of those 40 small businesses has not been relocated. “Elephant & Castle was like a second home,“ tweeted Sayed Hamaki, trader, who had worked at the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre for 23 years. „We spent so many years there and it’s so upsetting to feel like we lost a place that meant so much. Not being able to relocate is truly heart-breaking because it feels like we have lost our roots.“

The closing of the centre makes some upset, although others welcome this decision. Gerardo Ramirez who works nearby believes that it will make the place more beautiful. In the upcoming months, the place is going to be demolished, and the new Town Centre will be built subsequently. The redevelopment will create an open-air pedestrianized town centre, 979 new homes for the rental market, apartment block with 116 rental houses which will be made affordable to residents and workers. “It is sad for the community, but it is needed.” Feels Jake McLoughlin, a local resident. He thinks it will provide loads of job opportunities, during the construction process, and also afterward in the Town Centre. 

The redevelopment process at the Elephant & Castle has already begun.