Leon founder Henry Dimbleby launches £3.5m crowdfunding bid to create "world-class street food market" in London backed by Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver

Clara Guibourg
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Dimbleby and Downey want to create the street food market "that London deserves" (Source: Getty)

Could London be getting a world-class street food market?

Henry Dimbleby, founder of natural fast-food restaurants Leon, and Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey are betting on it.

Through London Union, Street Feast’s parent company, the pair is launching a crowdfunding bid hoping to raise £3.5m - enough money to create not just 12 local markets, but also one permanent one, in an as-yet unknown “iconic” London location.

They’re setting themselves a high goal: The £3.5m bid makes this one of the biggest crowdfunding campaigns ever.

Sure, it doesn’t quite reach the level’s of this summer’s (unsuccessful, need we say it) €1.6bn crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise the funds necessary to bail out Greece, but on the other hand, maybe this bid stands a slightly more realistic chance of success.

London Union was launched five months ago and has reported £3.5m revenue and 300,000 visitors in the first months, set to rise to 1.5 million next year.

Henry Dimbleby said he was pleased that company was already “very profitable”:

We are doing this fundraising so we can move fast to open the world-class, permanent street food market that London deserves.

Either way, Dimbleby and Downey are certainly in good company. The campaign is already backed by some very well-known names: Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi, as well as several of the UK’s best-known food writers.

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