Trade Deptford

Trade Deptford is a local platform hosting events and debate, exploring the theme of local identity, gentrification and role of the citizen in Deptford, South East London.

Over the course of 6 months we will deliver and test a new market forum for Deptford. A new typology that aims to position the artist/architect as a lever for positive social change, the output being a way to give people a voice and ultimately change the equation art = gentrification to, art = local resilience.

Each market develops new themes to engage different demographics in Deptford, to both gain understanding and develop evidence for a future citizen led neighbourhood plan – delivered by Deptford Neighbourhood Action. Through the direct participation in each forum, local residents working together with local artists and designers will attempt to unpick the impact of gentrification in Deptford.

Thus far we have hosted 3 of the 5 events; EAT Deptford – sought to bring people together over a collective meal to discuss the future of Deptford High street. MAP Deptford was a collective mapping exercise, allowing residents to create desire maps for the future which contested the actuality of the incoming housing developments. RADIO Deptford engaged with gentrification and local identity through listening to specific sites identified by the community. With participants responding to the question, “What is the sound of gentrification?”

Over the next two months the forum will host ACT Deptford – a forum theatre piece, and the Deptford ASSEMBLY – a final symposium of local activist groups.

Ultimately the aim of this participatory process is two fold;

1. To draw together the plethora of separate activist groups campaigning in Deptford – to create a network of activists working towards an improved public and civic life in Deptford.

2. To utilise the powers of the 2011 Localism Act to draw this research and energy into a Neighbourhood Plan. Neighbourhood plans offer local citizens an opportunity to make key decisions about the future of their defined neighbourhoods, allowing residents/activists to protect spaces and create sites for future community use.

Through the creation and engagement with this participatory process, we can begin to plan for the future of Deptford’s public spaces. One which gives local  residents voice and challenges the current trend of market led gentrification marginalising existing communities in London.

Tradeptford is delivered in collaboration between Assembly SE8 and public works


With thanks to all our collaborators;



Veronika Szabo and River

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Discussion Trade Deptford

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  • Thank you for sharing this fascinating project! I like the way of of building a (sort of) long term trajectory through very concrete and situated actions (eat, map, etc.) spread over 5-6 months. Is this intentionally seen as a strategy to get people to engage? What was been your experience when returning back to Deptford to host another event? Does the energy reached in the previous event remain?

    17.10.2016 — 15:11Yes(0)No(0)Reply

    • Andy Belfield

      Hi Pablo.
      Each event built on the last and with it momentum, our final two events in August and September; Theatre, Debates and Festival – were our most well attended and addressed the topic of Gentrification and development in Deptford most directly. The final symposium was organised collaboratively alongside 4 other local community organisations. Since then with the collective support of the community and activist groups we have successfully achieved a deferment on the planning process for the Old Tidemill Garden, and are now trying to work with the council to provide solutions that provide for the whole community, not just future housing.

      04.11.2016 — 11:59Yes(0)No(0)Reply