Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre shuts after 55 years

Elephant and Castle shopping centre building

Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre has been closed by Southwark council, with plans to put over 1000 new homes in its place.

The shopping centre was opened in 1965, and was the first indoor shopping centre in Europe.

In its place will be over 1000 new flats, and a new building for the University of Arts. The redevelopment will cost £4billion.

Many in the community are sad to see it go. Emma Pollard (39), grew up in the area.

“The first outfit I bought my firstborn child was from the shopping centre. My mum and dad met at the pub next door. Elephant & Castle always played an important part of my life.”

Some have sought to fight the redevelopment, with protests gathering around the building on Thursday evening. Many worry about the livelihoods of those who owned independent shops within the centre, especially in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shopping centre was not always loved by the locals. A news feature from 1962 shows locals dismissive of the coming shopping centre, believing East Street Market would give them better value.