Kilburn pop up shop to be latest cuts casualty

Artists warn the closure will be a blow to the community

The doors are closing for good on a pop-up shop used to promote the arts in Kilburn.

In its current incarnation the shop in Kingsgate Road, Kilburn, is known as the Funky Junktion, which runs workshops in recycling fashion, furniture and art on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis.

Selena Francis-Bryden, who runs the project, says its aim is to enable ‘self expression during a recession’.

She said: “It is about bring old things up to date. People bring items the have found on the road or at the back of the closet at home, and making them new again through design and alterations.”

But from next month the pop-up shop will close and a permanent business will take over the shop as the town hall struggles to slash up to �80 million from their budget over the next three years.

But Selena, who grew up in Kilburn and went to Hampstead Secondary School in Westbere Road, Cricklewood, warns that the closure will deprive artists like her from getting their ‘foot in the door’ to launch not for profit projects in Kilburn.

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She said: “It would be a real shame if it did close. Empty properties look bad on a street and it is not going to cost the council anything to let us use it for a community project.

“This pop-up shop really brings something to an area where there are a lot of empty shops. Kingsgate road doesn’t have much going on and this really brings some life to the area.

“It is crucial to keep Kilburn looking like it is thriving.”

Cllr Sarah Hayward, Camden Council’s lead member for community development, said: “Our pop-up shop scheme has not only helped to transform the look of many of our high streets through innovative use of empty spaces, but also provided aspiring and established artists with premises where they can let their creative juices flow.”