New Castle Square featuring local traders was built opposite the Elephant & Castle train station.
The center was built as a part of the Council´s redevelopment in the Elephant & Castle in Southwark to provide local traders a place to work. They opened on the 26 September. Its wooden construction and an “L” shape give it a modern look. It consists of two buildings that are connected only on the third floor, which unlike the other two, is not opened yet. The Castle Square is a minute from the Elephant & Castle train station and five minutes from the tube station. There are 26 shops inside providing a range of shopping opportunities from fashion to groceries, services, technology, games, or herbal products. Most of the traders were relocated from the Elephant & Castle Shopping Center which was closed.
Asim Shabir sells women clothes in his Maya Clothing shop. He had to leave the Elephant & Castle Shopping Center after 22 years. “It was difficult to leave. It is changing. I just need customers.” He likes new space but wishes more people to shop in his fashion store. He had to buy all products new. His store can be found on the first floor of the Castle Square.
New outdoor seating, a stage, and flowers were built at the square outside of the shopping center. This is a contrast from The Elephant & Castle Shopping Center which was all indoors. Luzmila, 57, came from Peru in 1991. “The Elephant & Castle Shopping Center was beautiful. I used to work there as a cleaner. It was lovely. Here it is more open. For summer it is good, but I am not sure about winter.”
The purpose of the outdoor place at the Castle square is to serve the community and give people a place to hang out and to be entertained. Every Saturday and Sunday there are live music performances, DJs, people in costumes from different organizations, dance, and a lot of fun. Kids like to watch it and participate. If it is not raining, lots of people come according to a security guy.