Camden Town Hall

Would-be Lara Crofts will be able to test their skills at a Tomb Raider escape room in Camden.

A plan for an immersive theatre experience in the basement of Stables Market has just won the go-ahead from the borough’s planning committee.

Players will enjoy the game in groups of eight, with staggered entry, at the historic market and will pit their wits against opposing teams in group challenges.

The basement was previously used as a storage space but will be transformed into an escape room to cater to people’s appetite for “experiences”.

Stables Market is the largest market in Camden and was built on the site of a horse hospital.

Pre-pandemic owners Labtech said it attracted more than 30 million visitors a year to its street food stalls, restaurants, leisure venues and shops where they can pick up antiques, jewellery and clothes.

Camden planning officer Laura Hazelton told councillors: “The proposed use is considered to protect and enhance the role and unique character of Camden Town Centre, contributing to the variety, vibrancy and choice within the markets for residents and visitors.

“The proposed use would not cause harm to the character, function, vitality and viability of the Town Centre or Stables Market.”

She said that as the escape room is below ground and there will be staggered entry and departure times and limited space to congregate afterwards, there was likely to be limited disturbance.

It is hoped the attraction will help drive footfall into the market.

Cllr Danny Beales said: “It seems a quite a good use of poor amenity space. Market and retail is struggling – an experience-led offer is a good addition to the market potentially.”

He said he would like to see an overall strategy for the market space.

The decision was approved unanimously by the planning committee (5 August).

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