The Capital's first People's Supermarket based in
Camden is in danger of being closed as it struggles to pay business rates. The supermarket is the first of its kind in
London and is run by volunteers to offer fresh, locally sourced produce at
reasonable pricesIn a bid to stay open,
owners have called on the council to throw it a lifeline and help out. The not-for-profit shop,
run by volunteers, has business rates debts of around £30,000, which it is
feared could force the groundbreaking scheme to close.
Around two dozen supporters of The People's
Supermarket, wearing their signature bright yellow t-shirts headed up to the
Town Hall to urge councillors to step in and stop the bailiffs.
Up to 25 people will lose their jobs if the
supermarket closes, which opened in 2010 part funded by a £25,000 council
grant. A council spokeswoman said Camden had sent the bailiffs in after the
supermarket reneged on repayment of last year's taxes but insisted the
authority was negotiating with the group to find a solution to avoid closure.
"We very much hope that The People's Supermarket
can find a way to stay open," says Vatche Cherchian, manager at
the Camden branch of lettings agent Edmund Cude. "We are very proud to have the
first People's Supermarket in Camden and it is widely used by locals and adds a
real sense of community to the area. High streets need a mix of shops including
independent retailers to keep them interesting and useful to locals and