London: OffMarket Project Coming To An End

It is with mixed feelings that we announce the end of the offMarket project. We took disused buildings and try to turn them into open resources for the wider community. We started the project with a big collective. Now there are only a few people left in the collective and we can’t carry it anymore as everyone is becoming increasingly tired. We doubt that we will open a new space in the future, but one can never say never.

Many of you will remember that it was just over a year ago that we opened our first space on Lower Clapton Road. After a few months we were evicted from that space and we moved up the road into a larger space. During this time offMarket became a busy social hub in the local community with lots of different activities happening on a regular basis. Activities included practical squatters evenings, a freeshop, a bike workshop where one can get their bikes fixed, massage sessions, life drawing, photography, self defense, a monthly cafe, french lessons, haircuts and so much more! These workshops and more proves how people can share a variety of knowledge with the wider community without the use of money. When we found out that we were going to be evicted from this place, it was decided to take some time to reflect on how the previous spaces worked and dream before we opened the next and last space. In October we opened the latest and last incarnation of the offMarket space on Dalston Lane.

We were recently served papers and so we will be out of the current and final offMarket space within the next four weeks. But until then, we will still be running practical squatters evenings and herbal & gardening workshops. If someone or a group would like to use the space for a workshop or a meeting in the next few weeks, we would most likely be up for hosting it at offMarket. So please do get in touch if you are interested.

We would like to give a shout out to all those who helped and supported the offMarket project throughout the past year: all the people who came and used the space, those that helped run and maintained the spaces, those who put on workshops, the police for a new door made out of corrugated iron, everyone who donated stuff, friendly neighbours, developers, landlords and councils for leaving buildings empty, Advisory Service for Squatters for writing our defenses, all past and present collective and crew members who were part of offMarket, and everyone who took a minute to tell us that it was great that a place like offMarket existed. We would like to give special thanks to Steve who visited regularly for some tea and cake in the early days of the offMarket project, to Ishmael for providing us with an never ending supply of tea, and to Richard who always warmed us with his big smile.

Each and every one of you made offMarket what it was. Without you, offMarket would not have been the same. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Last but not least, we would like to affirm our belief that Northeast London deserves to have a social centre. If this is somethinthat you are interested, we encourage you to go for it!


the current offMarket collective

Source – offMarket

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