The London Road area was first developed as a middle-class residential area in the 1810s and 20s. The first shops started appearing on the road from the 1840’s and by 1900 the area had been transformed into a busy high street. The original Open Market was located on Oxford Street and consisted of a few barrow boys. Following a number of moves a permanent site for the barrow boys was established on Marshall’s Row where the newly refurbished Open Market stands today.
Starting in the 1930s larger retailers such as the Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys started moving in to the area confirming the London Road as one of the key retail destinations in Brighton. This development continued until the mid 80’s when the area began a gradual decline, during which a number of well known high street names have disappeared for one reason or another.
In recent years the London Road area has become the focus of a number of strategies and projects – as well as organised groups – all aimed at improving its environment and turning around its economic fortunes. The tide is now turning, with a growing number of new shops, food and drink outlets and other enterprises opening in the area. With very few vacant properties now, the future of London road is looking increasingly bright.