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The colourful shops that look like they should be in Norway that might be one of London’s best kept secrets

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A disused car park next to a dated council building seems like an unlikely place for a growing group of independent local businesses. But an oasis of colourful buildings in Wood Green, a stone’s throw from the station has become hub for independent North London traders and creatives.

On first glances the Scandinavian style long timber huts look like they belong elsewhere but the vibrant Blue House Yard brings a welcome pop of colour to an otherwise drab city space.

The redevelopment is a partnership between High Street Works and Haringey Council and the social enterprise Meanwhile Space which creates both private space for rent and a new public space for meeting friends, discovering events and interacting with local designers.

Blue House Yard is a city oasis

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The site which has been running since 2017 is a hub for local creatives, entrepreneurs and residents and is home to Independent boutiques, it also hosts community events

The wooden structures which local students helped to build function as trading areas downstairs with an upstairs studio space.

The six businesses occupying the space include a picture framer, kids clothes swap shop, artisan candle maker, jewellery shop, knitting shop and fashion boutique.

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A kids swap shop is among the independent businesses

The yard is also home to a repurposed double decker bus that has recently been transformed into a destination live comedy venue named Ludo’s.

Owners James Hay, 38 and Charley Base, 36, plan to to run comedy nights with local talent and host film nights in the summer and Ludo’s opens for business on the first weekend of April.

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An artisan candle making business is one of the independents

With a background in comedy promoting, film and running pubs and doing up canal boats the couple are keen to be part of the thriving creative community working with other independent businesses.

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Founders of comedy venue Ludo’s, James, Charley with their dog Mag

“We want to be sympathetic to the area and the community within the yard, it’s a lifestyle business for us.”

The couple are also keen to be accessible to the wider community and join up with some local charities and organisations tackling knife crime and offer up the space for young people to use.

“We want to be aware and accessible to the whole community and be a local asset.”

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Ludo’s is a destination live comedy venue

They are also keen to champion local businesses as Charley explains: “ We know so many independent businesses that suffered or went over the pandemic, so it’s time to bring that back; now is a good time”

“After what everyone’s been through we want people to come for the comedy and have a drink and a laugh.” James added.

The couple are also planning to team up with fellow Blue House Yard creatives including Julie Ashton from Jules and Gems, a sustainable jewellery and accessories boutique. Producing handmade or ethically and sustainably produced pieces

The Citizens art market is set to return to the yard and the art festival takes place from Thursday April 7 to Sunday April 10.

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