The cluster of around 100 Latin American businesses in the Elephant & Castle area continues to fear for its future. The Latin community has been here for decades, adding hugely to local cultural and community life. There are many Latin businesses in Elephant Shopping Centre, most of them family-run.
In 2013, Labour-run Southwark Council promised to retain a designated Latin Quarter within a redeveloped Elephant & Castle. “The Council seem to have forgotten about their promise,” says Elephant-based lawyer Adriana Hoyos Rojas. “Under the current plans most of the Latin businesses will have to move out. The offer of relocation is inadequate; the community would be dispersed and our identity lost. Within three years most of our businesses would face being priced out totally.
“We’re not against development of the area, but the Council must work together with the Latin community – not just impose ‘take it or leave it’ plans on traders. The assurances from Delancey and the Council are too vague.”