Upper Street bank squatters who have a mission to feed homeless
About 15 people moved into the former NatWest building in Upper Street on Friday
03 November, 2017 — By Emily Finch
Squatter Daniel: ‘The people who live here all work… We are paying for the electricity we use’
SQUATTERS who have moved into an abandoned bank next to Town Hall offices say they want to open a centre to feed the homeless.
About 15 people moved into the former NatWest bank building in Upper Street on Friday. It is next door to Islington Council’s customer service centre.
“We’re going to do tea and coffee outside and make it look really nice,” said bar worker Daniel, who did not wish to give his surname.
He added: “We’re going to create an art space as well for people who want to make art. We’re keeping the place clean.”
The 22-year-old, originally from Liverpool, said he was forced to squat in the capital after a steep increase in his rent.
“The people who live here all work. It’s ridiculous the housing prices in London. Even the council has a long waiting list for houses,” he said.
The three-storey building includes a cavernous basement with abandoned vaults which previously stored valuables belonging to customers alongside cash.
“We hope the owners will let us stay here at a peppercorn rent over the winter,” said Daniel.
“We are paying for the electricity we use. The police came round but we showed them we were paying it and they left.”
A NatWest spokesman said: “We are aware of the situation and are working with the authorities to reach a conclusion.”