A ray of hope has helped to brighten the lives of the Hampstead Antique Emporium’s traders and local community supporters after the centre’s closure on January 7 following a two-month ‘notice to quit’ by the building’s landlord, Staplepine.
An eleventh-hour approval by Camden Council has designated the emporium an Asset of Community Value (ACV) which gives it first refusal to buy the building.
Camden councillor Danny Beales, cabinet member for investing in communities, culture and an inclusive economy, says: “The Hampstead emporium is an important part of the cultural and commercial life in Hampstead.
“The community made a strong case for granting an ACV and we were happy to award this status.
The designation ensures there is a six-month moratorium period on any future sales so community groups can raise funds to submit a bid to the owner.
“The community and traders are fighting for the future of the emporium and we will support them within our powers.”
A protest organised by emporium trader Alexandra Porter to fight the closure was held outside the emptied building on January 7. This attracted plenty of loyal supporters including local councillors as well as traders at the emporium.
The centre has been a much-loved fixture in north London for more than 40 years. Supporter Dylan McNeil, owner of the local Well Walk Theatre, says: “This place is the soul of the neighbourhood. Closing these places strips the area of what makes it desirable. I’m sure there’ll be a reincarnation. We’ll find a way to keep the spirit.”
Move to Alfie’s
Four dealers from the Hampstead Antique Emporium have now moved into the basement at Alfie’s Antiques Market.
Jean Archer’s stock includes costume jewellery, silverware and dolls, Minoo Kaae sells antique jewellery and Leah Y Michie specialises in handmade jewellery using silver, gold and semi-precious stones.
Tanya Bielschowsky, who trained as a fine artist and archaeologist, has been a dealer for 30 years and her stock includes sculpture, paintings and drawings by Modern British artists including Fred Yates and John Sheehy.
She said she is very excited to have moved into the market, adding: “It’s a new journey for me and the market is such a destination place in London.
“It’s lovely too to have my colleagues from the emporium here.”