The new, relocated Flower Market has opened at New Covent Garden Market in London.
At a special ceremony early on the morning of Monday 3 April, the market opened half a mile down Nine Elms Lane from its previous home. Featuring 21 traders and described by market authorities as "a more inspiring place to sell flowers", the opening marks a new era for a market that dates back to 1670.
It represents the latest development in a major phased refurbishment of the Nine Elms site, which will also see fruit and vegetable wholesalers moving into a new facility.
The Flower Market supplies 75 per cent of London's florists, from high street retailers to high-end event companies, and the new building features bright lights blended with natural light to make it easier to see each petal clearly, managers say. A simpler layout creates a livelier market, they explain, with a more straightforward market for traders and an air conditioning system ensuring the Flower Hall remains at 14 degrees, ideal for storing flowers.
Pam Alexander, chairman of Covent Garden Market Authority, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our traders and customers a better, more inspiring space to buy and sell flowers. Our wholesalers’ knowledge, expertise and relationships are the life blood of everything that goes on at the market and we’re hopeful that this new home will help them and their customers to take on new creative challenges and grow their businesses ever further.
“The Flower Market is the first new market building here at New Covent Garden Market. Over the coming five years, we are transforming the whole site into a Brand New Covent Garden Market for our 175 businesses and thousands of customers, and will be creating a new Food Quarter and food business hub for London. All the while, continuing to feed and flower London throughout.”